Build a Community of Readers

November is National Family Literacy Month and a great time to help your child develop a love of reading. Here are some ways your family can help build a community of readers, starting at home:

Organize a Parent-Child Book Group. Get together with friends and their little ones to discuss a book all of you have read aloud (or read it aloud when you meet). Start with babies and board books; move on to picture books and, later, chapter books. After the reading, ask questions like, “Who was your favorite character, and why?” and “What was the best part of the story?” You can have the children draw their favorite character from the book as they imagine them.

As your children grow, this may become an ongoing tradition — book groups that start when children are young have been known to last until the “little ones” graduate from high school!

Be a STAR and get involved with your local library. Through a special read-aloud program, the Los Angeles Public Library’s STAR (Storytelling and Reading) program brings together children and adults from diverse backgrounds to share in the joy of reading. To learn more about serving as a volunteer reader or having your family take part in the program, contact your local library or call the STAR program at 213-228-7487.

Have a Mix-and-Match Storybook Party. Get together with other families to create Mix-and-Match Storybooks.

You’ll need:

  • An inexpensive spiral notebook
  • Scissors
  • Markers, pens or crayons

Instructions:

    1. Start by cutting the notebook in half, horizontally, stopping at the spiral metal binding.
    2. On the top half of each page, draw simple pictures of different objects. Try flowers, airplanes, dogs, people, etc.
    3. As a group, brainstorm some good action words (verbs), such as walking, eating, jumping, running, etc. On each of the lower pages, write the verbs that you came up with.
    4. Flip through the notebook to mix and match the verbs with the pictures you drew. Using the action words, come up with mini-stories about the pictures. Take turns going around to have each person give an idea, creating a story as a group.
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