Wednesday, December 3, 2014

StORytime Oregon

The State of Oregon recently launched a new early literacy initiative:

stORytime: every day. everywhere.

It's built on the understanding that parents are a child's first teacher and they can grow the skills needed to become successful in school through these simple, every day activities:

TALKING
SINGING
READING
PLAYING
(and we would throw in WRITING)

When parents interact with their children in fun and meaningful ways, learning happens!

I like to compare the act of raising a reader with growing a flower. 4 basic needs must be met if the flower is going to grow:
1) SUN
2) WATER
3) AIR
4) SOIL

Think of the SUN as TALKING. If you surround your child with the warm glow of words, stories and conversations, their vocabularies will bloom, reaching always higher and higher.

Think of the WATER as SINGING. If you feed a melodious stream of song to your child, they will grow to respond to the rhythms and sounds that make up our language.

Think of the AIR as WRITING. If you draw and engage in fingerplays with your child, they will build the motor skills needed to put their own thoughts into the shape of the written word.

Think of the SOIL as READING. If you plant your child firmly in a ground of reading, they will grow rooted to a world of books and learning.

There is one last ingredient that keeps flowers blooming year in, year out: BEES!

Think of the BEES as PLAYING. Through a steady pollination of play, children go from being potential readers to actual readers. Children must enjoy reading and see its benefits firsthand. It is critical that we keep all early learning activities buzzing with fun!

If you follow these 5 basic practices in your daily interactions with your children, you will help them blossom into beautiful readers and eager learners!

We encourage you to learn more about Oregon's stORytime initiative by visiting them on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Also, check out this activity sheet for some fun ideas and download this bookmark.