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Make Time for Books

Colette B. Cross

Read for the Record Day this year is October 27.  On this day over a 24 hour period, many many adults and children take part in a shared reading experience.  This program is facilitated by Jumpstart, a national early education organization, whose goal is to support more adults reading to children, and put more books in the hands of children.   Westmont has been a participating school for a number of years in this now 10-year initiative. 

Teachers, parents, grandparents, alumni students, siblings, and classmates provide reading experiences in our classrooms on an ongoing basis.  We see books in the hands of our students every day, from our youngest “Little Steppers” to our oldest Kindergarteners in their cozy dedicated reading spots.  We also welcome any opportunity to read to our students and enjoy a school-wide appreciation of a new shared book.  Each class received a copy of the book for its library.
Today, I had the pleasure of being the guest reader and read this year’s book selection The Bear Ate Your Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach to all of our Early Childhood and Kindergarten students.  The animated faces, thoughtful observations, and creative responses to questions showed engaged listeners and provided fun interactions for all.  I do not have daily opportunities of reading to a large number of students and enjoyed the experience as much as the children.  I do, however, recognize the importance of giving a child the lifelong gift of enjoying a good book.
Research shows that children, who are read to from an early age develop larger vocabularies, become better readers, and experience greater success in school.  Providing literacy-rich environments will ensure that children receive the support necessary to develop pre-reading and appropriate cognitive skills, for school and for life.   We can do it together; remember to keep books in your car,  in your home, and read to your child daily.  Add a book to the birthday and holiday gift list, take trips to your local library and bookstore.  Make books visible and accessible, and take time to enjoy a good book yourself. 
If you click on the link below you can read or download this year’s Jumpstart book selection.

The joy and smiles of our children strengthen our commitment to a Montessori early childhood education. Westmont, an accredited school with the American Montessori Society (AMS) and Middle States Association (MSA-CESS), stands as one of the premier Montessori schools in NJ. We welcome you to discover Westmont.