Reading is a very important part of Lower School at WPS. Read-aloud books are shared in classroom circle times or while students enjoy a snack. Students participate in D.E.A.R. (Drop everything and read) and literature circles. Teachers lead reading groups and listen to individual students read independently. For us, reading is a big part of the foundation of learning and takes designated time in our schedules each and every day. With this focus in the classroom, why do we also ask for students to read or be read to each day at home?
We ask because the benefits of reading are compounded exponentially with support from home. Take a look at this graphic. Reading 20 minutes a day starting in Kindergarten has a tremendous impact on our students. Reading helps build knowledge and vocabulary. Reading supports memory improvement, analytical thinking skills, and builds focus and concentration. Reading also improves writing skills and can reduce stress. Reading can open whole new worlds for our students, and have significant influence on their academic success.
Reading does not need to be limited to your child reading softly on their own. Reading should also include reading aloud to your child or having your child read aloud to you. Reading aloud to children from infancy supports language acquisition and literacy skills, but the benefits go on well beyond the younger years. Research suggests that parents (and teachers) should continue to read aloud to students as old as 14 years, even after they become fluent readers. Reading aloud to your child strengthens family relationships, helps to teach life lessons and build vocabulary and gives a reason to have quality time while you sit together in close proximity sharing a book.
In the words of J.K. Rowling- “ (We) do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book.” - Dr. Theresa Nabavi, Associate Director of Lower School