As someone who spent much of childhood with her nose buried in a book, I can't imagine a life without reading. After all, reading made me a writer, and to this day I adore being able to lose myself in a great story.
Reading is the gateway to knowledge and empathy, yet it's also so much more than that. Once a child can read, the world opens up. From instructions to putting a new toy together, to ingredients on a jar, to safety signs, reading can literally be a life-saver and a truly enriching experience.
But for some kids, that's not the case. Early on, words become the enemy, and trying to decode the symbols on the page (or screen) can be frustrating, even humiliating. In a former life I dabbled in tutoring, and it really saddened me the lengths some children would go to hide their shame and fear of reading.
A new non-profit website wants to support children with reading difficulties and the parents struggling to help them. Thanks to its vast resource library, HelpingEveryChildtoRead.com provides strategies on how to help children with "dyslexia, auditory processing weakness, short-term memory deficit, reading-related stress, and more."
Sponsored by Morgan Learning Solutions, the free site offers a community forum where parents can connect, as well as live Q&As with experts offering specialist advice.
“Our goal is to provide a neutral zone where parents of struggling learners can come together, learn about what’s out there, get help and support…" says the site's founder David Morgan. "Because the fact is that there’s hope for every child to become a reader. Once you finally find the right path for your child’s specific set of challenges, walking down it becomes so much easier.”
Personally I cannot imagine a life without the written word. Reading is truly one of the most valuable gifts we can give our children. For some it is a skill that's harder to come by, but that doesn't make it any less worthwhile.
More tips on how to foster a love of reading in children.