October is a month when the campaign Read Aloud 15 Minutes provides libraries and other organizations with information and graphics to allow us to encourage parents, caregivers and communities to read to their children. Every Child. Every Day. Children who are read to every day before starting kindergarten are ready to learn to read. Help spread the word, encourage every parent of a young child to read aloud to their child and offer to help by reading to the child as well.

The amount of vital brain development that occurs in children prior to age five is astronomical and reading provides them with words, concepts, ideas, communication and more to help their brains develop properly.

Check out our posters in the library this month for more information about the incredible things that happen in children’s brains between birth and age 5.

But don’t stop reading and talking to your child once they enter school either. Reading aloud to your child continues to help them develop language and reading skills and provides wonderful opportunities to discuss and learn about subjects that might not come up otherwise. Find books on careers that might build on your child’s interests. Books about current events, come check out our books on floods or hurricanes after seeing pictures from the Carolinas. Books about other countries or animals. Or find a book that you loved from your childhood and read it aloud and see how your memories of the book hold up and what your child thinks of it.

These all provide great opportunities to talk with your child and encourage them to think about the world around them and what they want to do in the world as they grow and become adults.

Prior to about third grade most of a child’s reading should occur with physical materials, books, magazines, newspapers etc. After that they are welcome to explore digital reading. Studies are just beginning to be done on learning to read on digital formats and the early evidence suggests that some kind of connection isn’t happening with comprehension in children who only learn to read with digital formats.

Children were able to read the words but didn’t understand what they’d read and weren’t able to explain what had happened in a story or what information had been given to them. There are some attempts to change the way they are learning to read digitally, but at this time the best recommendation is to provide lots of physical materials for young children learning to read. So get your child a library card and visit us regularly. We want to help.

But don’t stop there. Encourage your children to use our online resources as they enter their middle and high school years to research topics they want to know more about, to explore career possibilities or to learn to repair their own ATVs, snowmobiles, cars or even make home repairs. These and more are all available from our website at http://internationalfallslibrary.us under resources.