The days are clicking away fast as Maine gears up for the statewide Read to ME Challenge kicking off Tuesday, Feb. 2, at the Blaine House with the Governor and First Lady. But before then, you are being asked to consider participating in the challenge and think about whom you would like to challenge as well.
The Maine Department of Education’s Read to ME Challenge requires just 15 minutes of your time. Simply read with a child, capture the moment in a picture or video and post it to social media while challenging another person to do the same.
Some of the benefits of this challenge include:
- The single most important method for building the knowledge required for later reading and learning success is reading aloud to children (National Center for Educational Statistics).
- Reading to and with children is fun! Not only do children experience magical adventures through books, but they benefit from time spent bonding with parents and caregivers.
- Reading to children, from birth through their childhoods, models reading as an enjoyable lifelong activity and opportunity to build knowledge of the world.
- Reading to children stimulates brain development. It helps them learn to talk and to listen, grows their vocabulary by exposing them to a huge number of words, helps build their attention spans, and encourages them to ask questions.
- Children learn to read by being read to. They discover how books work, what letters are and how words and pictures express ideas.
- Once children begin reading on their own, reading aloud enables them to access books and stories more complex than what they can read themselves.