The American Tradition of Reading with Our Children

Reading with our children is as American as apple pie.

This has been the bedrock strength of this country and we can’t afford to lose it. Children model their parents and it’s up to parents and teachers to show children the beauty and power of reading. If you can read, you can do almost anything because you can imagine almost anything. The time has come to provide an infrastructure for real parent involvement to provide the necessary skills for parents so they can offer reading and learning opportunities to their children in their homes. The reading routine developed in the home will transfer to the school. Reading is the first educational skill, the first principle and foundation of everything else from math to science to history and to writing.

PBS Fresno
We can’t afford to wait another generation before we have a true infrastructure for parent involvement and the development of a home reading routine. The time is now. Too many parents are living in survival mode and there’s no time to waste. They need our help to develop the next generation of engineers, scientists, teachers, businesspeople and innovators. It doesn’t have to be difficult or a mystery. It’s simple. That is, once they learn specific strategies about how to do it. It starts with the parents’ attitudes. Reading should always be approached as an enjoyable activity, not a chore.

The Latino Family Literacy Project™ uses curriculum that is simple to follow, that is based on state standards for reading and meets the parents where they are at now. We also base our curriculum on books that are fun to read, easy to follow and filled with colorful and engaging illustrations. The early years are the most critical years for young children. One of America’s favorite and most beloved presidents, Abraham Lincoln, would read anything he could get his hands on as a child. He particularly loved fables and famously plowed the fields of his family farm with a book in his back pocket.

Oprah Winfrey once said that books were her “pass to freedom.” She grew up on a farm in Mississippi and books showed her that there was a whole world beyond her everyday life. Books opened her eyes to all of life’s possibilities.

Parents can start with what they know and build on their own skills. The key is our support for supporting language and literacy development in the family setting. When children see their parents with books in hand and get to sit in their parents’ lap and turn the pages of a book together, we witness the beginning of reading and a good education. Creating a language rich home environment is The Latino Family Literacy Project™’s main goal.