What does Mother’s Day mean to you?
For me, it is all about celebrating the gift of my mother and children. It is about modeling an environment for my children that my mom created for my sister, brothers and I – an environment of love and acceptance. As my siblings and I grew up, ventured out and began families of our own, my mom gave us each a copy of her favorite book, “Love You Forever” written by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Sheila McGraw. My copy holds a place of honor in my office here at Reading Is Fundamental next to a photo of my mom with my three kids that I am excited to share with all of you! The story speaks to the beautiful cycle of eternal love that a mother has for her child and how that cycle of love, once demonstrated, is continued through the next generation.
This theory of modeled behavior holds true for children’s literacy. Reading aloud to young children stimulates language and cognitive skills, builds motivation, curiosity and memory¹. Literacy begins with parents and caregivers reading aloud. I was privileged to join my daughter’s 2nd-grade class recently and read her nighttime favorite to the class, “When Mama Comes Home Tonight” written by Eileen Spinelli and illustrated by Jane Dyer. The students were so excited to guess what may come next and help me tell the story. Both of my older children have visited to read aloud to the class, as has my husband. Having an adult model this behavior is critical and is the first step to combating the literacy crisis in America today.
As we honor our mothers and the traditions they instill in us from a young age on Mother’s Day, I encourage everyone, all year round, to read to a child. That is a tradition that will last a lifetime!
Happy Mother’s Day from Reading Is Fundamental
¹Bardige, B. Talk to Me, Baby! (2009), Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.