Early literacy and reading skills form the basis for learning in all subjects and open the door to academic success. Numerous studies have shown that children who have been read to at home are more prepared for kindergarten. Children who enter school without basic literacy skills are among the most vulnerable and are 3-4 times more likely to drop out of school in later years.
Improved literacy is an additional focus through Monroe Smart Start’s Let’s Read Program in partnership with IU Riley Health, WTIU, United Way of Monroe County, and the Area 10 Agency on Aging.
Housed in all Monroe County IU Health Riley Physicians’ offices, the Let’s Read Program encourages doctors and nurses to read books at pediatric wellness checks and discuss with families the important role that reading and conversation play for school readiness. Free books are distributed to children ages 6 months to 5 years along with a packet of literacy resources for families.
Families can also watch doctors and nurses demonstrate dialogic reading on televisions in physician waiting rooms with our B is for Bloomington book, published by the Community Foundation. In dialogic reading, the adult helps the young child become the teller of the story through listening and asking questions. This method encourages child interaction and reinforces vocabulary, language and reading skills.
Not sure where to start? Download our Let’s Read Family Packets for helpful tips and activities to get started reading with your child at every age.