A cornerstone of education

Published 7:06 pm Monday, July 6, 2009

On Wednesday the Alpha Kappa Alpha in Selma will kick off the Reading is Fundamental program at the Carl Morgan Convention Center.

The AKAs have done this for more than 10 years. They have passed out free books to children who could not afford them. They have brought in folks to read stories to children who might not have someone to read to them. They have enticed others to dress up as book characters to pique the curiosity of children, so they might become more interested in books.

The AKAs know reading is fundamental.

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Do you?

Do you know that if you read to a child, even a pre-schooler, it makes it easier for that child to develop speech. Even looking at a picture in a book and hearing how that word is pronounced aloud , children learn new words and how to say them correctly.

Reading to children helps develop listening skills in preparation for school. Children must learn to listen to what someone else says before they can succeed in school. Children must learn how to participate in structured situations, such as story reading, to be successful in the classroom.

But one of the best things about reading to a child is the bonding experience. Whether its a parent, older sibling, uncle, aunt or grandparent, that time can be perceived as “their time” with a special person.

Most people who begin with books at an early age, continue to read on their own as they get older. But there must be a beginning.

The AKAs are making sure of that in Selma this week.