As the author of Saltwater Taffy, I feel I have learned what it takes to create young readers.  Here are 7 Steps for Creating Young Readers:

1. START EARLY: Twenty-six percent of children between the ages of three and five, who were read to at least three or four times in the last week by a family member, recognized all letters of the alphabet.  This is compared to 14 percent of children who were read to less frequently.

2. LEAD BY EXAMPLE: If you want your child to read, pick up and book and show them how enjoyable reading can be.  If you don’t like to read, change your mind and think again.

3. FIELD TRIP: Grab the kids and spend a few hours at your local library.  Sign them up for their own library card.  Check into events for children and sign up!4. CREATE A READING LOG: Much like a log for vacations and places you have visited, keep a log of books you have read together!

5. FIND YOUR VOICE: Using different voices for characters in the book will help bring the characters off the page.  Another idea is to start with audio books for kids!

6. READING ROOM: Designate a room in the house as the family reading room.  Give your child a shelf on the bookshelf for their books.

7. START A BOOK CLUB: Talk with other parents and create a group reading environment.  Megan Hand did this very thing in Mercer Island, Washington and recently the boys read Saltwater Taffy.

Eric DelaBarre is an award-winning filmmaker and the author of the ‘Tween’ adventure novel, SALTWATER TAFFY, which is endorsed by 9 Teachers of the Year.  Copyright July 20, 2011.  All Rights Reserved

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