Laura Bush and Learning to Read
Category: Learning to Read
First Lady Laura Bush believes in the importance of learning to read and learning how to read. In a recent statement from The White House, Mrs. Bush said: "Teaching reading is one of America's top domestic priorities."
According to Mrs. Bush, research also indicates that reading to children early in their lives leads to success both in school and in life. This is because early reading is instrumental in helping young people develop vocabulary knowledge, letter recognition and phonemic awareness, which she described as "significant predictors of a child's ability to do well in school." She noted that many children experience difficulties learning to read because they didn't develop the basic blocks of language during their early years.
Mrs. Bush appealed for development of early reading skills (a responsibility of both parents and teachers) while announcing her "Ready to Read, Ready to Learn" initiative. Key aspects of her initiative include: successful early childhood programs that teach children important pre-reading and vocabulary skills; giving parents and caregivers information so they can help their children learn to read; and encouraging recruitment and retention of influential teachers.
In announcing her "Ready to Read, Ready to Learn" initiative, Mrs. Bush also included a personal letter for parents and teachers:
"As a child, I loved listening to my mother read to me. Little did I know that she was doing much more than providing comfort and entertainment; she was paving the way for my learning and success in school.
Research tells us that the early language experiences and education we provide our children shape the way they think and learn.
The quality of these experiences affects a child's enthusiasm for learning, ability to interact with others and success in school.
Though many children grow up hearing a broad vocabulary and being read to from infancy, others enter school without knowing the names of letters or how to count.
For these children, reading and learning can be a struggle. If they are unable to overcome this obstacle, their loss affects all of society.
Our challenge is to reach all children early so that every child starts school with the skills needed to learn. Once they are in the classroom, our children deserve excellent teachers and a high-quality education.
As a mother and former public school teacher and librarian, I believe we all have a duty to help our children achieve success. And I am proud to join President Bush in his goal to make America's schools the best they can be."
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