“"The gift of literacy is one of the greatest gifts we can give our children. Books can have a profound and lasting
impact on the reader and I encourage Florida families to take every opportunity to make reading a part of their daily
lives.” ~Florida's First Lady Ann Scott
Suggestions to help build your child's reading skills:
Read to your baby for short periods several times a day. As you read, point out things in the
pictures. Name them as you point to them. Cardboard or cloth books with large simple pictures of things
with which babies are familiar are the best books to begin with.
Children Ages 1-4
Talk with your child as you read together. Point to pictures and name what is in them. When he is
ready, ask him to do the same. Ask him about his favorite parts of the story, and answer his questions
about events or characters.
Wherever you are with your child, point out individual letters in signs, billboards, posters and
books. When she is 3 to 4 years old, ask her to begin finding and naming some letters.
Read predictable books to your child. Teach him to hear and say repeating words, such as names for
colors, numbers, letters and animals. Predictable books help children to understand how stories
progress. A child easily learns familiar phrases and repeats them, pretending to read.
Practice the sounds of language by reading books with rhymes and playing simple word games (i.e.
How many words can you make up that sound like the word “bat”?)
Children, First Grade
Point out the letter-sound relationships your child is learning on labels, boxes, newspapers and
Listen to your child read words and books from school. Be patient and listen as he practices. Let
him know you are proud of his reading.
Children, Second & Third Grade
Build reading accuracy by having your child read aloud and point out words she missed and help her
read words correctly. If you stop to focus on a word, have your child reread the whole sentence to be
sure she understands the meaning.
*Taken from the U.S. Department of Education “Helping Your Child Become A Reader” and The
Partnership for Reading “Put Reading First” publications.
- Margaret Wise Brown
A House for Hermit Crab
- Eric Carle
Where the Wild Things Are
- Maurice Sendak
Is Your Mama a Llama?
- Deborah Guarino
- Judy Blume
Harriet the Spy
- Louise Fitzhugh
AGE: 11 and up
Where the Sidewalk Ends
- Shel Silverstein
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
- C.S. Lewis
If you'd like to recommend a book, please email us at:
Strong parental involvement is a key component of the Just Read, Florida! initiative. Other than
helping your children to grow up happy and healthy, the most important thing that you can do for them is help them
develop their reading skills. Here are some sources to get you started:
Clifford Reading Tips for Parents(PDF)
Clifford the Big Red Dog has some great tips for parents about the five essential components of reading. Thanks to our
partnership with Scholastic, we are happy to share these with you.
Reading Intervention Curriculum(PDF)
Whether reading mentors or classroom teachers, this curriculum is a great guide that includes an overview of current
reading research and weekly lessons for intermediate struggling readers.
Teen Trendsetter Reading Mentor Curriculum(PDF)
Lessons and accompanying mentoring notes designed to provide reading tutoring as a primary activity during mentoring
sessions with 3rd grade students at different reading levels.
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