LB - Northland Motorsports

Home | Classifieds | Place an Ad | Public Notices | Galleries | Milestones | Contact Us | Subscribe | e-newsletter | RSS |
Navajo-Hopi Observer | Flagstaff, Arizona

home : features : features October 3, 2015

3/12/2013 10:57:00 AM
Reach Out and Read program on Rez encourages healthy childhood development
Reading to kids birth to five years old helps them get ready for school, get set for life
Navajo-Hopi Observer

Dr. Miran Song's face lights up when she talks about how happy her patients - ages 6 months to 5 years old - are when she gives them a book. More than 2,500 young children each year get their well child visits at the Pediatric Clinic of Tuba City Regional Health Care Center. Each time they visit, they receive a book from the Reach Out and Read program.

About 80 percent of a child's brain develops by age three. Their early experiences lay the foundation for success in school and in life. Reading to young kids gives them the skills they will need to be good readers once they get to school. Research shows reading and comprehension levels in third and fourth grade correlate to general knowledge, attention and vocabulary at ages three and four.

While some parents may believe they need high-tech gadgets to hold their kids' attention, Song said she has seen young children pick books over their parents' cell phone. Reading, talking, singing and playing with kids gives them something crucial to their early learning: human interaction.

"It's nice to see parents and their children bonding," Song said. "Some kids will sit on their parent's lap or sit next to each other with their book."

Siblings tend to get in on the action too.

"Older brothers and sisters will hold the book and read together with their younger sibling," Song said.

For infants, reading and other interactions with adults help their brain learn the sounds needed to develop language. As they grow, reading helps babies understand that objects have names. As children get older, reading helps them to learn letters, sounds, and increased vocabulary. It also helps them develop critical thinking skills when asked what comes next in a story.

Dr. Song said reading effects a child's emotional development, too.

"It helps them understand their emotions and gives them a sense of personal self-worth," she said. "It opens a world of possibilities for them."

Families can help their child's language and early literacy by reading to kids five years old and younger just 15-30 minutes each day.

First Things First offers the following tips to make the most out of reading:

• Read with your child, not to them: when you hold children and let them play with the pages while you read, they learn that reading can be fun;

• Ask and encourage questions as you read: when you point to pictures in books and ask questions about them, you teach new words. You also help your child communicate with you;

• Make reading playful: a book can be a child's favorite toy. Children love to look at and hold books. They also enjoy participating in telling the story.Through physical and verbal interaction you are helping your child build their language and social skills, and exercise their imagination.

• Play games with words: sounds are the building blocks of words. Saying words that all start with the same sound help your child identify speech patterns. Rhymes help your child hear how sounds come together to form words. They also help your child learn the rules of language.

Reach Out and Read prepares young children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together. Reach Out and Read, partially paid for by First Things First Navajo Nation Regional Partnership Council, is available at most health care centers on the Navajo Nation.

    Recently Commented     Most Viewed
Mapmaker continues quest to document indigenous cultures
New documentary focuses on Native American veterans on Navajo Nation
Letter to the editor: Where do children learn to speak fluent Navajo?
Delegate Edmund Yazzie continues work for Thoreau, N.M. clinic
Pirates of the Navajo Nation under attack

Article Comment Submission Form
Comments are not posted immediately. Submissions must adhere to our Use of Service Terms of Use agreement. The email and phone info you provide will not be visible to the public. Rambling or nonsensical comments may not be posted. Comments are limited to 1300 characters or less. In order for us to reasonably manage this feature we may limit your comment entries to five(5) per day.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

HSE - We want to hear from you
Find more about Weather in Flagstaff, AZ
Click for weather forecast

Submission links
 •  Submit site feedback or questions

Find It Opinions Features Submit Extras Other Publications
Home | Classifieds | Place an Ad | Public Notices | Galleries | Milestones | Contact Us | Subscribe | e-newsletter | RSS | Site Map
LB - Northland Motorsports

© Copyright 2015 Western News&Info, Inc.® The Navajo-Hopi Observer is the information source for the Navajo and Hopi Nations and Winslow area communities in Northern Arizona. Original content may not be reprinted or distributed without the written permission of Western News&Info, Inc.® Navajo-Hopi Observer Online is a service of WNI. By using the Site, ®, you agree to abide and be bound by the site's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, which prohibit commercial use of any information on the site. Click here to submit your questions, comments or suggestions. Navajo-Hopi Observer Online is a proud publication of Western News&Info Inc.® All Rights Reserved.

Software © 1998-2015 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved