Start at birth to build healthy minds by singing and reading to children…

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Dr. Leora Mogilner, a pediatrician at Mount Sinai Hospital, gave a book to Kaylee Smith, 9 months, and guidance to her mother, Tameka Griffiths, 33. RUTH FREMSON / THE NEW YORK TIMES

Early child literacy…key to healthy minds… Quote from this website article by the New Your Times…

By MOTOKO RICH

“In between dispensing advice on breast-feeding and immunizations, doctors will tell parents to read aloud to their infants from birth, under a new policy that the American Academy of Pediatrics will announce on Tuesday.”

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In my own work with children as vice chair of Neighbors for Kids (click here) in Depoe Bay, Oregon, literacy programs are a high priority.  We are building a library along with information technology learning resources.  As part of the US Department of Education, “21st Century Community Learning Centers” (click here) goals, monthly literacy nights with parents and kids called “read and feed” started this year and has become highly popular.  This program is a collaboration with Lincoln County School District (LCDS) (click here) to build sustainable after-school programs at key sites within the county.

Even more important to me as a child advocate and author, is the value of engaging in positive ways with kids at a very early age at home and in schools.  At risk kids in particular often come from stressful homes that can cause emotional neglect and abuse.  Parents, teachers, and mentors can help mitigate the risk of long term emotional damage to these children by practicing reading and singing for just a few minutes a day at home.  Kids are more likely to be comfortable at school engaging in fun literacy programs knowing their parents are doing the same as a regular practice at home.

It is often challenging to pay attention to your children at home following a hectic day and in dealing with life challenges.  Please know kids inhale the pain of parents and store it.  As a parent, you can provide a more positive balance and foundation at home by taking a little time each day reading and singing to your child.  It is the kind of quality time with your kids that makes a huge difference for the entire family and helps manage stressful home circumstances…

Steve Sparks, Author, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1, and Reconciliation: A Son’s Story… click here to order my books…

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