Reading with the next generation

Reading with children gives them the biggest step forward possible. Research shows the number of words a child knows when they start kindergarten is a predictor of their future success in school and in life. The more people read to a child and the earlier they start the better.

Grandparents play a unique and special role in the life of their grandchildren. Much like parents they can help their grandchildren start their literacy journey by fostering a love for reading and books.

Jan Carroll (grandparent, avid reader, and childhood educator) delights in how her influence on her grandchildren is developing their own love of books and reading, and how this is leading to new experiences and memories.

I love to choose books as gifts for my grandies – “The Little Yellow Digger” for the one who likes trucks; “Milli, Jack and the Dancing Cat” for the one who loves dancing….and cats! and “A Stick and a Stone” for the almost-three-year-old who loves to explore the world.

Imagine my delight when my granddaughter, shopping for Mother’s Day earlier this year with her mother, said “I’ve found a book that Mémére will love!” The book was “Ruby Red Shoes: My Wonderful Grandmother” She was right! I do love it, and mostly because she chose it…. because of our connection through books!

My grandchildren also love to share their books with me. A visit to one little household always includes an introduction to their latest selections from the library. Some of the stories they shared with me have since found their way onto the bookshelves at my kindergarten.

That family also loves The Story Orchestra series. You can read the story, look at the pictures, and with a press of a button, hear a small excerpt of the appropriate classical music. It was a joy a few weeks ago to be with my daughter at a presentation of The Nutcracker, introducing my granddaughter to the delights of seeing her first ballet performance, knowing that she was familiar with both the story and the music, and to hear her say in excited anticipation “This is my favourite part”.

We thank Jan immensely, for sharing some of the ways she is involved with her grandchildren’s journey into reading and literacy, and how this has helped create a special bond with her ‘Grandies’ and their Mémére.