Literacy Awareness Month – Bringing Literacy Into Your Home

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Does the image of Belle walking into the vast library of the Beast’s castle fill you with joy and anticipation?  Me, too!

In a world of hashtags, memes, GIFs, the latest Snapchat filter, and 140-character tweets, the art of reading and literacy is sometimes lost on this new generation.  The large bookstore chains I grew up with and loved are closing more each year.  Kindles and eReaders have taken their place, but how many of our young people are even taking advantage of those?

The love of reading and the art of literacy must be cultivated in our youth, lest the beauty of the written word be forgotten altogether in the coming years. 

Kids today cannot imagine a world without smart phones (or cell phones and texting at all, for that matter!), the Internet, Netflix, and cable television.  Yet, that is the world I – and many of you moms out there – grew up in.  Family TV time was reserved for Friday nights and Saturday mornings in our house when I was a child. Our imaginations ran wild through the pages of books, adventures in the backyard, or playing with non-electronic toys. My husband and I both share similar stories of childhood where we climbed trees with a book and read for hours. We both also read the dictionary for fun – and yes, we are nerds. It breaks our hearts (I may be a touch dramatic here) to read Facebook posts of people using improper grammar, word choice, and punctuation. It is not as extreme as all that, but basic literacy is so important for our children today. My husband has taught programs in the Cincinnati Public School system, bringing literature to life through activities and acting. I even began writing and illustrating children’s books in an attempt to bring more excitement to our daughter when it comes to reading. 

Many organizations care about literacy just as much as we do in our house. Our daughter’s elementary school has had a couple different programs come into the school over the year, and the kids love it! Below are some of the resources advocating literacy that are available to the Greater Cincinnati area. See if any of these programs are already in your child’s school, or ask the PTO and school administration to consider getting one of these literacy programs for the students. Or, you can utilize other programs personally.Whatever you choose to do, it starts in your own house. Commit today to read to your child(ren) each day, and begin encouraging literacy within your own communities. 

The Literacy Network of Greater Cincinnati

  • Literacy Hotline: 513-621-READ (7323) – connects callers to 60 provider agencies across 8 counties for help with basic reading, GED, and ESL
  • Adult Basic Reading Program (ABRP): free classes for adults who read below a 4th grade level
  • Children’s Basic Reading Program (CBRP): extra literacy tutoring through partnerships with elementary schools
  • See if this is hosted in your child’s school or encourage your school’s administrators to participate!

 

Learning Through Art

  • Cincy Reads!: Weekends of “wrapping the region in reading to end illiteracy” with events at local parks, etc.
  • Books Alive! For Kids: Through partnerships with the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati and the Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati, this program is hosted at Cincinnati Public School’s elementary schools (Note: This program was in our daughter’s school last year, and the kids thoroughly enjoyed it!)
  • See if this is hosted in your child’s school or encourage your school’s administrators to participate!

HIPPY (Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters)

  • A program from the YWCA of Greater Cincinnati since 1993
  • Available in Brown, Clermont, and Hamilton counties
  • Partners with parents to prepare their preschool child(ren) for success in school
  • Curriculum supports the Ohio Department of Education Early Learning Standards for preschoolers in Social Emotional, Language/Literacy, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies
  • HIPPY storybooks bring literature into the home as well
  • Program is free of charge
  • For more information, call 513-361-2162

United Way Success by 6

  • By signing up for the program, free books are sent periodically to your home until the child reaches 6 years of age
  • Book selections are always age-appropriate and encourage literacy in the home
  • Availability of the program varies depending on funding for the initiative (Note: We had our child enrolled in this from age 2 to Kindergarten, and she loved every bit of it!)
  • The Success by 6 initiative is proven to help improve literacy in our little ones

September happens to be Literacy Awareness Month, making it a great time to explore these local options and commit to more reading in your home. What is your favorite way to bring literacy into your home? We’d love to know! 

 

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I was born in New York and lived in several states before settling down in my favorite city of all time - Cincinnati! I have an interracial family that consists of my amazing and talented husband (Derek) and our beautiful, silly daughter (Adilyn {2009}). I work full-time in Human Resources in addition to owning the Cincinnati, Dayton, & Louisville Mom Collectives, write and illustrate children's books (search "Courtney Jayne Snow" on Amazon), love to volunteer, and am a registered and certified nutritional consultant (RNC/CNC). I still do my best to be the best mom and wife I can be! I love art museums, the theatre, the zoo, reading, and Cincinnati parks. I'm a foodie and always love trying new places to eat. I hope other moms find either enlightenment or humor from my posts!

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