Reading matters

Published 9:26 pm Monday, October 8, 2012

For 15 minutes, you hold the attention of more than a dozen strangers as you read aloud.

Sound scary? It’s anything but.

In support of early education, members of the Washington Noon Rotary read a story to 4- and 5-year-olds last week. Kids laughed, clapped and asked to hear the story again at the Washington Head Start and other local preschools. More importantly, their imaginations and interest in reading grew.

According to Reading is Fundamental, reading aloud to children encourages them to read on their own and helps them become better listeners, readers and students. They build their vocabulary and language skills, learn about the world around them and see how fun reading can be.

Last week’s event was part of Jumpstart’s Read for the Record, an annual reading event that highlights the importance of early education by setting a world record for reading the same book on the same day.

The 2011 record of 2,184,155 was shattered last Thursday. Seven million children learned about friendship, feelings, courage, compromises and using their imaginations when they were read “Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad” by David Soman and Jacky Davis.

Many of the adult readers learned something, too. They saw how easy it was to encourage literacy and help local preschools in just a matter of minutes. Nice work, Rotarians.

To learn how you can read to local preschoolers, call the Beaufort-Hyde Partnership for Children at 975-4647.