Written by Jennie Zelenak, MS, CCC-SLP;
Speech Language Pathologist, (Published 2018)
NorthLakes Community Clinic, Ashland, WI
While kids are off school for summer vacation, parents can continue to foster language development, expand vocabulary learning and listening comprehension through storybook reading at home. No matter how young the child, storybook reading is an important piece to build into daily routine. If a child is below age level to begin reading, parents can foster pre-literacy skills: following words across the page, reading left to right, and turning pages, which can assist the child in becoming a stronger reader later on. By consistently reading to your children every day, they will begin to learn to concentrate and sitting still for longer periods of time, which may assist in their ability to attend to structured tasks at school later on. Through storybook reading, parents can expose their children to a variety of vocabulary not typically used in day-to-day conversation, assisting in diverse expansion and knowledge of language.
Reading with your child provides opportunities for entertainment and learning, opening the mind to new places and ideas. Storybooks provide opportunity for question asking, creating an avenue for discussion and greater learning. Children are able to make predictions about what might happen next in the story and through this engagement; they develop their imagination as well as grow in creativity. When children delve into a story, they can also develop emotional skills of empathy—to feel what the characters in a story are feeling—and begin to understand or relate to them. Storybook reading at home with your child can help foster a positive relationship with reading as well as provide quality bonding time between parent and child.
NorthLakes Community Clinic strongly advocates the importance of storybook reading through our current program run by Dr. Anna Ellason and Lisa Warren, “Reach Out and Read,” which recently handed out their 1000thbook to a child. Additionally, NorthLakes Community Clinic participated in a local volunteering event called, “Ride for Reading.” Volunteers from the clinic carried backpacks loaded with books and rode their bicycles to Lake Superior Elementary school to deliver donated books to the students. Each child chose one book to bring home and took the “Ride for Reading” oath, promising to read their book at least twice and to never, ever, ever throw it away. Seeing the children’s excitement about the books highlights the importance of exposing our children to opportunities of storybook engagement so that they can become successful, lifelong learners.
What reading adventures will you take your child on this summer?
NorthLakes provides care to those with Medicaid and Medicare, those with private health insurance (such as Anthem/Blue Cross, Security Health, and many others) and those without insurance. We also provide a Sliding Fee Scale, a program available to all patients who qualify based on income level, regardless of insurance status.
NorthLakes Community Clinic has 11 clinic locations in Ashland, Balsam Lake, Hayward, Iron River, Minong, Turtle Lake, and Washburn. NorthLakes locations offer: medical, dental, behavioral health counseling including substance use disorder counseling, recovery services, psychiatric services, chiropractic, pediatric speech therapy, pediatric occupational therapy, and prescriptions for patients. Clinics are open Monday through Friday. For more information visit http://northlakesclinic.org. NLCC is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.