June 17

A weekly publication of               6/17/2014

Did you know... 

The number of words that a child knows on entering kindergarten is a key predictor of his or her future success.
Research shows that reading aloud is the single most important thing that you can do to help a child prepare for reading and learning.

Dear Pat,

Have you seen those bumper stickers that say,Read Aloud to a Child Every Day? Does reading aloud to a child really matter?

YES! And here is why:

Reading aloud helps children acquire early language skills.

  • Reading aloud is widely recognized as the single most important activity leading to literacy acquisition.  Among other things, reading aloud builds word-sound awareness in children, a potent predictor of reading success.
  • "Children who fall seriously behind in the growth of critical early reading skills have fewer opportunities to practice reading. Evidence suggests that these lost practice opportunities make it extremely difficult for children who remain poor readers during the first three years of elementary school to ever acquire average levels of reading fluency." Torgeson, J. Avoiding the Devastating Downward Spiral, American Educator. (2004)
  • Reading aloud to young children is not only one of the best activities to stimulate language and cognitive skills; it also builds motivation, curiosity, and memory. Bardige, B. Talk to Me, Baby! (2009), Paul H Brookes Pub Co.
  • Reading aloud stimulates language development even before a child can talk. Bardige, B. Talk to Me, Baby! (2009), Paul H Brookes Pub Co.
  • Research shows that the more words parents use when speaking to an 8-month-old infant, the greater the size of their child's vocabulary at age 3. The landmark Hart-Risley study on language developmentdocumented that children from low-income families hear as many as30 million fewer words than their more affluent peers before the age of 4. Hart, B. Risley, T. Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experiences of Young American Children (1995), Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.

Reading aloud helps children develop positive associations with books and reading.

  • The nurturing and one-on-one attention from parents during reading aloud encourages children to form a positive association with books and reading later in life.
  • Reading aloud is a proven technique to help children cope during times of stress or tragedy.
  • Reading aloud is a good way to help a child acclimate to new experiences. As your child approaches a major developmental milestone or a potentially stressful experience, sharing a relevant story is a great way to help ease the transition. For instance, if your little one is nervous about starting preschool, reading a story dealing with this topic shows her that her anxiety is normal.

Reading aloud helps children build a stronger foundation for school success.

  • "What happens during the first months and years of life matters, a lot, not because this period of development provides an indelible blueprint for adult well-being, but because it sets either a sturdy or fragile stage for what follows." J.S. Shonkoff & D. Phillips, Eds., From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development (2000), Washington D.C.; National Research Council & The Institute of Medicine, National Academy Press.
  • Once children start school, difficulty with reading contributes to school failure, which can increase the risk of absenteeism, leaving school, juvenile delinquency, substance abuse, and teenage pregnancy - all of which can perpetuate the cycles of poverty and dependency.
  • Reading aloud in the early years exposes children to story and print knowledge as well as rare words and ideas not often found in day-to-day conversations or screen time.
  • Reading aloud gives children the opportunity to practice listening - a crucial skill for kindergarten and beyond.
  • Reading aloud to a child gives them the basics of how to read a book. Children aren’t born with an innate knowledge that text is read from left to right, or that the words on a page are separate from the images. Essential pre-reading skills like these are among the major benefits of early reading.
  • Reading aloud helps them develop more logical thinking skills. Another illustration of the importance of reading to children is their ability to grasp abstract concepts, apply logic in various scenarios, recognize cause and effect, and utilize good judgment. As your toddler or preschooler begins to relate the scenarios in books to what’s happening in his own world, he’ll become more excited about the stories you share.

Reading aloud is, according to the landmark 1985 report "Becoming a Nation of Readers," "the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading."

Despite this advice, however, some educators and many parents don't read aloud to children from a young age and thus fail to nurture avid and skilled readers. Indeed, this is especially true for children in low-income families. According to the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, only 48 percent of families below the poverty level read to their preschoolers each day, compared with 64 percent of families whose incomes were at or above the poverty level. Children from low-income families are also less likely to have exposure to print materials.

So this summer have some fun, free time with your child. Visit the library and get some books. Then in addition to the usual reading places—a couch, an overstuffed armchair, a child's bed—consider less traditional ones:

  • Outside under a shady tree, in a sandbox or a hammock, or at a nearby park.
  • Toss a sheet over a clothesline or table to create a reading hideaway.
  • Keep a book in the glove compartment of your car for long road trips or traffic delays.
  • Spread a blanket on the floor for an indoor reading picnic.
  • Use your imagination. Almost every room in your house offers exciting reading possibilities.

Happy reading!

Wednesday, June 18, 5:30pm – 7:00pm, Claremont - NH Health Protection Program Informational Session, River Valley Community College, 1 College Dr., Claremont

Thursday, June 19, 5:30pm – 7:00pm, Nashua - NH Health Protection Program Informational Session, Nashua High South, 36 Riverside Dr., Nashua

Click here to see more events in New Hampshire!

A few weeks ago I asked you to tell me what is on your list of great children’s books. Here’s what I heard from some of you (in no particular order):

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats 
Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey 
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss 
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst, illustrated by Ray Cruz  
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr., illustrated by Eric Carle 
Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina 
The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss 
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd 
Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson 
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak 
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle 
Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish, illustrated by Fritz Siebel 
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, illustrated by Garth Williams 
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr., and John Archambault; illustrated by Lois Ehlert 
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling 
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis 
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry 
Curious George by H.A. Rey 
Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary 
Pierre: A Cautionary Tale in Five Chapters and a Prologue by Maurice Sendak 
Olivia by Ian Falconer 
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans 
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems 
Corduroy by Don Freeman 
Swimmy by Leo Lionni

Here are a few of  6 year old Spidey’s favorites:

Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner (any of the stories in the series)
There Goes Ted Williams: The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived by Matt Tavares
Nighttime Ninja by Barbara DaCosta
Puff the Magic Dragon by Peter Yarrow, Lenny Lipton and Eric Puybaret
Chicka Chicka abc by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault

Want to find some books written by or illustrated by Granite Staters? Check out the list here.

Good News!

The Governor's office and the state Department of Health and Human Services announced Monday that the NH Health Protection Program will begin enrolling low-income adults on July 1 with coverage to start on August 15.

New Hampshire’s bipartisan health care expansion plan, signed into law by the Governor in March makes New Hampshire citizens who are between 19 and 65 years of age and have a household income of up to 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level eligible for new health care coverage.

Applications for the NHHPP may be submitted beginning on July 1, 2014, and coverage for the NHHPP will begin on August 15, 2014. Applications may be submitted online at www.nheasy.nh.gov, by calling the Medicaid Service Center at 1-888-901-4999, by visiting a DHHS district office, or through www.healthcare.gov.

Adults who are working and have access to cost-effective insurance through their employer will be covered through their employer-sponsored insurance, with the state paying the employee’s premiums and other costs of coverage in the Health Insurance Premium Program.   Those who do not have access to cost-effective employer insurance will be enrolled in managed care plans offered by Well Sense and New Hampshire Healthy Families in the Voluntary Bridge to Marketplace Program.  (Some individuals may also voluntarily choose to enroll in a qualified health plan on the federal marketplace in 2014 if that option is determined to be cost-effective).

NH residents ages 19 to 65 who meet the following financial eligibility guidelines can apply for the NH Health Protection Program:  a household of one with a monthly income limit of $1,342; a household of two with a monthly income limit of $1,809; a household of three with a monthly income limit of $2,276; and a household of four with a monthly income limit of $2,743.

DHHS is holding a series of informational sessions around the state during June that will provide additional details about the program. These are informational sessions only, they are not intended to provide application services. All sessions will cover the same information, so people need to attend only once. 

Registration is not required for these informational sessions, but is appreciated.  To register go to www.surveymonkey.com/s/nh-hpp.

Anyone in need of accommodations for communication access such as interpreters, CART,  assistive listening devices, or other auxiliary aids and/or services should make that request at least 3 business days (72 hours) prior to the informational session if you wish to attend to ensure availability.  To request these accommodations, call Alex McIntire at 603-224-5566 oramcintire@lkarno.com.

Informational Session Schedule

Laconia:  Monday, June 16, Laconia Middle School, 150 McGrath St., 5:30-7 pm
Berlin: Tuesday, June 17, Androscoggin Valley Hospital, 59 Page Hill Rd.,5:30-7 pm
Claremont: Wednesday, June 18, River Valley Community College, 1 College Dr., 5:30-7 pm
Nashua: Thursday, June 19, Nashua High South, 36 Riverside Dr., 5:30-7 pm
Derry: Tuesday, June 24, Municipal Center, 14 Manning St., 5:30-7 pm
Littleton: Wednesday, June 25, Littleton High School, 159, Oak Hill Ave,5:30-7 pm
Dover: Thursday, June 26, Dover Middle School, 16 Daley Dr., 5:30-7 pm
Portsmouth: Tuesday, July 1, Portsmouth Public Library, 175 Parrott Ave.,5:30-7 pm

MaryLou Beaver
New Hampshire Director
Every Child Matters Education Fund

You can help win the fight for our kids by making a tax-deductible donation to ECM in any amount at www.everychildmatters.org.

Every Child Matters is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization whose mission is to make children a national political priority. For more information, visit www.everychildmatters.org
1023 15th St. NW Suite 401 Washington, DC 20005

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