Read Across America Day is almost here! In honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday, students around the country are celebrating language and literacy. Here’s a story of about an exceptional young reader from one of our Primrose classrooms.
How many books have you read in your lifetime? 100? 200? Most of us haven’t kept track. But 4-year-old Braxton can answer this question in a snap: he’s read 1,000 books so far.
Braxton, a student at Primrose School of Bells Ferry, has always been a voracious reader. When his parents learned about an initiative through the Georgia Public Library Service that challenges children to read 1,000 books before Kindergarten, Braxton was excited to step up to the plate.
“We’ve made reading with Braxton a priority since he’s always had such a liking for books,” said Braxton’s mother Vanessa Fulton. “We aim to read 3-5 books together per night, but there are some nights where Braxton will come home from school and say, ‘Mommy, let’s read 10 books tonight!’”
Braxton loves books about animals, particularly those from acclaimed children’s author Mo Willems, including Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed and the Pigeon series. In fact, Braxton’s literary ambitions have inspired several family trips to the zoo so that Braxton can learn more about his favorite animal of the moment.
One of the most heartwarming parts about Braxton’s literary interest is his desire to share his love of reading with others. When his classroom participates in show-and-tell, Braxton likes to bring in a favorite book and read it aloud to his fellow preschool classmates. “He’s always wanting to share his love for reading and what he’s learned, and to inspire others,” Vanessa said. “It’s been so much fun to watch.”
Vanessa and her husband Brent say that Braxton’s literary success is a result of a joint effort from both their family and Braxton’s teachers. “It’s a sort of partnership between us and his school,” says Vanessa, “but it makes it easier when you have a child that gets so excited about reading.”
Braxton’s parents keep in close conversation with his teachers about what kind of books they are reading at school so that Braxton could expand on his skills at home. “It’s been great to see how his reading has developed. He loves the books, he remembers the characters, and he tells them back to me, which is quite shocking when he’s only 4 and a half.”
Fostering a love for reading is a key component of the Primrose Balanced Learning® approach. “It’s a huge part of the curriculum, and is something that really stood out to us when we were searching for child care,” Vanessa said. “The emphasis on literacy is a big part of why we’ve stayed at the school and that’s why we enrolled our 5-month-old Zayden, too. We’ve seen it work with Braxton, and we just believe in it.”
As Braxton will begin Kindergarten this fall, Brent and Vanessa are looking forward to starting the early reading process all over again with Zayden. “We feel really blessed to be a part of a school with this sort of curriculum and support from teachers,” Vanessa said. “I’ve learned very quickly that if a child feels confident in what they’re doing, the sky’s the limit.”
Click here to learn more about encouraging literacy in your young child with parent tips, book lists and more!