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Editor, The Beacon:

Is my child listening when I read to him or her? Why does my child always select the same book instead of a different one? Is reading to them worth the time? These are questions that many parents ask themselves.

Those precious moments you take for storytime during your busy day are times for fun, exciting ideas and bonding. When your child curls up next to you and says “Read,” you know that he or she is listening. This is how children learn to enjoy books, and is the beginning of reading.

They often select the same book to read because they are puzzling the sounds and shapes of the words. They enjoy the story, and it is comfortable for them. They love it. One day they will discover a new favorite.

Taking your child to the library is another worthwhile experience. The endless variety in colorful books on all kinds of subjects, along with storytelling sessions, encourages children to own their own books and to read.

One program to encourage reading is Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. It is a program funded by Dolly Parton that gives one book to a child every month for the first five years of life. That is 60 books! This program is designed to inspire and encourage the love of reading and creativity.

Reading is fundamental to children for so many reasons, which is why that 10 minutes or more a day can be life-changing. Take that time to ask questions and explore the story with your child. That little bit of time will last a lifetime.

Jenny Rapp

Deltona

— Rapp wrote this essay as a requirement to renew her director’s credential. She is currently a preschool teacher at Children First Learning Academy in DeLand.

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