Posted on Thursday, May 26th, 2011 at 8:44 pm


Did you know that the most important teacher in your child’s life is you?  Half of a youngster’s mental ability is developed between birth and age four.  These are the times children spend with parents before entering school.

Reading is an important part of your child’s first six years.  A child who enters school with no favorite books, or doesn’t know some of the alphabet will ask fewer questions, use shorter sentences and have a shorter attention span in class.

Teachers are great but they can’t do it alone.  The fact is that kids who read outside of school do better.  If your child only sees books in the classroom they will grow up feeling like reading is work, rather than fun.

When you take time to read with your child, he or she becomes more enthusiastic and positive about books. Learning becomes easier.  Kids who read at home become more curious about the world around them, have better imaginations and are able to express themselves more clearly.

By reading with your child you share thoughts, and help your youngster grow emotionally and this brings you closer together.

And you just might learn something new yourself.

Live, Laugh, Read

Barbra Hesson, Librarian, Our Lady of the Evergreens


What about those students who are already at school?  Surely they’ve had enough of books all day.  However, children who don’t read at home will begin to fall behind some of their classmates.

Maybe you can’t read or write as well as you’d like.  By reading with your child you will not only improve their skills but yours as well.

Make reading time a family affair by inviting brothers, sisters, grandmas and grandpas to join in.

And don’t forget about Dad.  When dad participates it shows boys that reading is for everyone.  Break out the books on cars, rockets, dinosaurs and sports.

Remember your youngster is watching you. What topic interests you?  Even reading the newspaper or a magazine sets a good example.

Once you bring reading into your home you will find the magic in words.  They can take you anywhere, and they are everywhere.  Point them out on your way to school, work, and the playground, or as you head to your favorite library.

Live, Laugh, Read

Barbra Hesson

Librarian, Our Lady of the Evergreens


Scribbling and drawing are wonderful ways for your child to join in the world of reading and writing.  These squiggles and stick people will soon become letters of the alphabet and pictures that tell a story.

Give your child a place to write and draw, a dictionary, and have your computer in a common area so that you can check their progress and be close by to help.

Display their creations and put their name on it.  Every author, young or old, loves to see his or her name in print.

Of course there is nothing like having your own library card and exploring the shelves of a library.  Many libraries also have story hour, and author visits. It won’t take long for your child to feel comfortable around books.

Ask your child what he would like to read about and get the librarian to help you find what you are looking for.  Ask friends with children what they read and check websites and the newspaper for book reviews.

If you have difficulty reading, don’t feel bad, you’re not alone.  There are lots of things you can do to help yourself and your child.

Just talking, asking your child about their day and singing with them a song they learnt at school increases word power.

Don’t be impatient when your child asks questions.  Answer them as best you can or try to find the answer together in a book, or on a computer.  Ask them questions that require more than a yes or no answer.

You can share books on CD’s and enlist the help of an older sibling, friend or neighbor to read to your child while you listen in.

Live, Laugh, Read

Barbra Hesson

Librarian, Our Lady of the Evergreens





Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean books have to be on vacation.

A long summer break can cause student learning to slip. Here are some things to make reading a fun part of your time off.

–         Start a children’s book club. Trade books with friends. This will help uncover great books you may not have explored while also cutting down on book costs.

–         Gather the kids or grandkids and head to a local park for an afternoon of reading. Sit in a circle and read the stories out loud, or spread out a couple of blankets so each person can read their own story.

–         Join the local library’s summer reading program

Connect read-aloud choices to summer activities. Read books about camping, hiking, skateboarding, whitewater rafting.  Don’t just stick to fiction.

–         Allow children to choose their own titles. It is equally important for them to read about topics that interest them, whether it is insects, dragons, or a favorite fiction series.

–         Help your child select books at a comfortable level. Summer reading should be fun and easy. Listen to your children read. If they read smoothly, and can tell you what they read, the book is probably at a comfortable level. In addition, teach your children to use the “Five Finger Rule” in selecting books: If they make 5 or more errors in reading a page, the book is too challenging.

–         Encourage your child to read the sports page, to check up on their favorite baseball team or to read children’s magazines.

Read a book and watch the video together. When you finish reading and viewing, talk about what you liked and didn’t like.

–         Pack books in your beach bag or put some in the car for short and long trips. Download an audio book free from the Public Library onto your Ipod or MP3 player.

–         Encourage your children to write this summer, too. From writing postcards to friends and relatives to keeping a journal while on a trip, summer presents unique ways to write about their own experiences. Take a disposable camera for them to use on vacations or day trips and they can create a book about their adventures.

What a great school year we’ve had! Thanks to everyone who helped out and supported our library this year.  Happy Summer to all.

Live, Laugh and Read.

Barbra Hesson, Librarian, Our Lady of the Evergreens





Your baby is ready to respond to your voice and your actions from day one.  You are his first teacher and your home is his first school.

From birth to age 5 your baby will learn more at home than at any other time in his life.

Introducing stories to baby encourages him to be comfortable with books and it’s a fun way to interact.

Up to six months it doesn’t matter what you read.  Small sounds from baby will let you know he is enjoying himself and trying to mimic you.

After seven months baby can recognize faces, objects and voices.

He will love picture books with simple, bold, bright illustrations, and songs or rhymes. Board books or waterproof books can be touched and held without worry.


As baby begins to understand point out familiar objects. Run your finger along the text as you read and he will associate print with words.


Don’t be afraid to act silly! Change your voice, make it loud, make it quiet.  And don’t forget to cuddle and tickle.   Have books in every room.  Talk back to baby when he makes sounds and ask him questions.  “Show me your foot, where is your nose?….”

There are many awesome interactive books on the computer, use them as well.  But nothing beats one on one time. The main thing to remember is learning can be FUN for both of you.

Live, Laugh, Read.

Barbra Hesson, Librarian, Our Lady of the Evergreens



Reading out loud is the best way to share a story.  Your toddler may not understand all the words, but hearing and seeing helps them learn what language is all about.


Start out with simple stories.  Books with lots of rhymes and pictures are a hit.  If there are repeating phrases, have your child join you in saying them out loud.  Use a hand signal to tell them when it is time to say the words.


Childrens’ magazines are a great way to hold a young child’s attention span.


Make sure you BOTH enjoy the story!


In your busy day you only need to find fifteen minutes.


Pick a time when you can both concentrate, with no interruptions.  Let the phone ring.  Your child will see that they are the most important thing at that time.



It’s drama time! Make your story exciting. Make sounds, sing a song, act silly and laugh.


Run your finger underneath the print as you read.


Encourage your youngster to ask simple questions, or ask them questions as you go to see if they understand the story, or just to keep interacting with them.  Have them tell you the story they see in the pictures.


Often you will be asked to read the same story over and over.  Soon your child will begin to repeat the story.  This is an important step.  Try leaving out the odd word and let your child fill it in.


Don’t force your child to read and stop reading when they loose interest.  Remember it is up to you to MAKE it interesting.


Read in different places.  Take books wherever you go.  Having books in the car can come in handy when you to wait in line-ups.

Whatever you do with your child, support their efforts.  A world of words is waiting for them one hurdle at a time.  Rejoice with them as they jump!

Live, Laugh, Read

Barbra Hesson, Librarian, Our Lady of the Evergreens


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