Jaimi Bird, a speech language pathologist in central Iowa, says students in her learning center’s LEAP, or Language Enrichment Academic Program, are learning to love reading.
“The children in our LEAP classroom are performing a readers’ theater,” Bird says. “Readers’ theater is a great way to practice reading fluency and we’re focusing on one of Dr. Seuss’ ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ books. It’s fun for the kids and they did a craft project making hats that they can wear when they do the theater.”
Bird helps run Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center in Urbandale which tutors children from ages two through 18. She says literacy is vital and it’s a skill that directly impacts academic and social prosperity.
“Reading sets up children for success all the way through their lives,” Bird says. “Not only does it open so many doors to learn knowledge, it provides entertainment and enjoyment for the rest of our lives.”
As part of Read Across America Week, Bird offers some advice for parents on helping their kids pick books they’ll read.
“There’s so many different reasons for reading,” Bird says. “If you want the child to be reading for enjoyment, work together to choose a great book that is fun. If you want to learn about something new or there’s something they’ve been learning about at school, teach the child how to look up a book that goes with that topic.”
Studies find children who read at home enjoy a substantial advantage over children who don’t.
The National Education Association’s Read Across America Week is an annual reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading.
Friday would’ve been Theodor Seuss Geisel’s 114th birthday.