Written by Janae Babineaux, Senior AmeriCorps Member serving on the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation Team at Winbourne Elementary School. 

When I was little, I remember the simple but overwhelming joy of curling up with my mom as she read me book after book. She made stories come to life and we traveled to places near and far from the comfort of my bed. As an adult, I still find pleasure picking up a new book and reading the pages aloud. There’s something about hearing the words on the pages enter the space around you that creates a true adventure.

This Thursday at Winbourne, we hosted a Read-A-Thon where parents could join students during the school day and devote an hour of time where the whole school dropped everything and simply read aloud. Developing good readers and writers is essential in creating lifelong learners and it all starts with a few simple strategies (provided by the U.S. Department of Education Website).


  1. When reading a book where the print is large, point word by word as you read. This will help the child learn that reading goes from left to right and understand that the word he or she says is the word he or she sees.
  2. Stop and ask about the pictures and about what is happening in the story.

  3. Discuss new words.

  4. Read a child’s favorite book over and over again.

  5. Read a variety of children’s books, including fairy tales, song books, poems and informational books.

  6. Read many stories with rhyming words and lines that repeat. Invite the child to join in on these parts. Point, word by word, as he or she reads along with you.

  7. Ask children basic questions with fiction books like the names of characters and settings of the story.

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