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Reading and Storytelling
Jeff knew reading to children was very important. He had been told by his son’s doctor, teachers, and daycare provider that reading and storytelling helps build children’s language skills and develop the brain.
Children who hear stories on a regular basis have a wider vocabulary. Children who are read to daily become better readers than those children who are not ready to daily. They also tend to be more successful in school.
Jeff was not read to as a child. There were no books in his home. He did not hear any bedtime stories or nursery rhymes, nor did his parents share any family stories. He wanted life for his son to be different.
Jeff decided to visit the library. It had a huge selection of children’s books. He also looked for books at thrift stores and garage sales. He found some fun books with colorful pictures. He knew his young son would enjoy short books with big pictures.
Jeff’s goal was to read ten minutes a day with his son. He knew that if he did it at the same time every day, reading would become a habit. It would become part of their daily routine. Bedtime became their reading time. Both Jeff and his son looked forward to being close and sharing a story before bed.
Some nights Jeff would tell his own stories. Some were true and some were fantasy. His son loved to hear stories of when Dad was a child. Jeff told stories about family trips, family pets, and life with his brothers and sisters.
The stories Jeff’s son enjoyed most were the made-up, silly stories about a little boy named Will (Jeff’s son’s name) and his friend Duke (Will’s stuffed dog). Jeff’s son asked for those stories over and over again. Soon Jeff was sharing stories with his son more than ten minutes a day and more than just at bedtime.