Read & Rise
Sharing stories, rhymes, games, and daily talk in a family’s home language supports language and literacy development, which in turn supports academic success (Strickland & Riley-Ayers, 2007).
Recent research has brought to light the powerful link between social and emotional development and academic learning. Such findings underscore the importance of attending to and celebrating the diversity of each child’s culture and home language, family makeup, learning style, interests, temperament, and any special needs (Zero to Three, 2003).
Research has also revealed not only the dynamic learning potential of children when they are in responsive, nurturing, stimulating environments, but also the detrimental effect to children when they are deprived of these opportunities. Gaps in reading readiness can hamper literacy development throughout a child’s school years and beyond—hindering career options when the child becomes an adult (NELP, 2009).
Children need to be part of rich conversations in order to develop their skills at both receptive (listening) and expressive (speaking) language (Dickinson & Tabors, eds., 2001). It’s best if these conversations can be guided and enriched by adults—through stories, rhymes, and songs, talking about experiences and wordplay (Swank & Landry, 2004).