Building Literacy Skills Early Ben Navarro Comments
Though there are certain ages at which children are more prepared to begin learning various skills, Benjamin Navarro, a representative for Sherman Financial Group, says, the earlier children can begin learning how to read and write the better. Sherman Financial Group, a company whose foundation, Meeting Street Academy, provides children in South Carolina the opportunity to learn foundational skills at an early age, fights to combat the high levels of illiteracy in America. Reading and writing are not just important for children; they are foundational to a child’s continual development and intellectual growth.
Literacy, Navarro explains, is vital for living successfully in everyday life. Sadly, the number of Americans who do not possess basic reading and writing skills is arresting. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization’s Institute for Statistics, 774 million adults lack basic reading and writing skills.
Without a basic knowledge of reading and writing, people are not able to perform successfully as employees, parents, and citizens. “There is a direct link between literacy skills and public assistance, teen mothers, children living in poverty, and prison populations. Literacy is our greatest weapon in the ongoing struggle between success and failure – between economic vitality and prosperity for all our residents,” explains a representative for the Literacy Council of Buncombe County, North Carolina.
Sherman Financial Group agrees, believing that it is important to help your child prepare to read before they even enter school, Navarro states. There is such a thing as too early to read, he explains, but for most children, parents and teachers are able to start before preschool.
By reading to them, showing them books, and helping them explore the subject of literacy; children will be able to develop reading skills faster. Central Georgia Technical College reports that when parents don’t introduce their children to reading before they start school, children are less prepared for learning to read than others who were introduced at an earlier age.
It is important to realize that from the very beginning, your child is learning to read. According to Reading is Fundamental, America’s oldest literacy organization, “Learning to read is built on a foundation of communication skills that children start learning at birth – a process that is both complicated and amazing.”
The organization explains that from birth to age three, babies and toddlers learn to do many things that help them learn to read, such as making sounds that imitate the tones and rhythms adults use when talking, beginning to associate words with objects and feelings, as well as listening to stories and other people talking. As they continue to grow, they start pretending to read books, noticing the characters and objects, and begin trying to reproduce the letters, words, and pictures they see on their own, explains the organization.
While formal reading lessons may not be appropriate quite yet, these natural, early practices help children prepare for reading and writing, even if they are not actually able to read or write letters correctly yet, the Sherman Financial Group believes.
As children reach ages three and four, however, they are able to interact with the material in a more recognizable way. For example, they are able to retell simple stories, recognize letters and letter-sound matches, and use descriptive language. They also understand that things are read from left to right and top to bottom and can begin writing letters, numbers, and some words, Reading Is Fundamental explains.
The only way to combat the illiteracy rate is to start teaching children in a timely fashion, Benjamin Navarro states. Some ways this can be done is by engaging your child with interesting books that catch their attention. Using toys and games can make reading even more fun.
Teach Reading Early, a website that encourages parents to foster a love of reading in their young children, explains that reading books can involve more than simply reading it to your child. Using expressive language and rich vocabulary will improve the child’s story telling skills. Fully engaging your child by asking questions will also help them learn to speak effectively as well.
Remember that each child is different, Navarro adds. They all learn at different levels and times that are right for them. It is best to be patient with your child as new things are introduced to them. If, however, there is a concern, there is nothing wrong with checking in with the child’s doctor or teacher for advice and support. If a child does have a learning disability, Sherman Financial Group’s representative Ben Navarro states, the earlier it is discovered, the better it is for the child.
Sherman Financial Group’s foundation, Meeting Street Academy, continually sets higher standards and strives to create more effective ways of teaching children the foundational skills they need to be successful in school as well as in life. “Children need to be given the tools to achieve, we express the importance of literacy and it is a priority for our institution,” Benjamin Navarro, South Carolina’s Sherman Financial Group executive adds.
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