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Give your child the FREE gift of reading

Updated: Dec 28, 2021

YOU are your child's first teacher! YOU can inspire a love of reading!

Dolly Parton believes that if you can read, you can do anything, dream anything and be anything. United Way of Grays Harbor has partnered with Dolly Parton's Imagination Library to put books in the hands and hearts of children birth to age 5 living in Grays Harbor & Pacific Counties.

Register today! It takes less than 5 minutes and is FREE. Once registered, each month, your child will receive an age appropriate, high quality book that is personalized with their name and mailed right to your home!

You can make reading an exciting experience and enjoy family time together!

“Reading aloud to children at an early age can positively impact their brain development. When preschool children listen to stories, it activates the areas of their brain that are associated with processing images & narrative comprehension” -Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

There is not doubt you have heard about the several benefits of reading to your child. And doubtless you have heard tips, tricks and all the how to's about reading aloud. But, I'm here to tell you...... Don't worry about all that!

From one parent to another, I'm begging you to please, please, please don't put unnecessary pressure on yourself when reading with your child. It's about enjoyment & the time spent together! (yes, they learn during that process too). So...

Don't worry if it's not read in order, let your child guide you with their interest. Take time to talk about what is on the page; shapes, colors, favorite animal, favorite letter, fruits, vegetables....whatever is on the page!

Don't worry if your child flips the page to early. My oldest son, now 21, would turn the pages until he came to his favorite page, you know the one with the apples, so he could pick them off the tree and eat them! Don't worry if you don't finish the book in one sitting. Sometimes, it's just better to come back to it, when everyone is in the mood. It doesn't mean they aren't learning if you stop early!

Heck, don't worry if your child is rolling on the floor! I remember back to reading with my youngest son, now 20. He was a very energetic, very busy, rough and tumble little guy. (He still is and gets a lot done each day). Most of the time it seemed like he wasn't even paying attention. Come to find out, he was absorbing everything!

Don't worry if you don't read a dang word. Sometimes, we would just talk about what we saw on the page. Sometimes, I would ask them what they thought would happen next, and let them tell the rest of the story. Sometimes, I would tell the story backwards....they'd always correct me!

Don't worry if you read the same book a bazillion times! Remember, magic is happening when you read the same book over and over. Your little one actually begins to recognize the words. You may be sick of it, but they are engaged!

In the end, I suppose I should say there is a right & wrong way to read aloud to your kiddo. But, I just can't. I've never been in the "box" and nor were my kids. All I know is, we all are just fine and we all love to read. Please, don't hesitate to reach out directly to me, if you need more specific tips & tricks. I've tried them all! -Kelley

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