At Primrose Schools®, we believe in the power of books and the importance of early childhood literacy — to develop minds, expand hearts and bring people together. Plus, we know that reading is just really fun, and we want to share that joy with children.
That’s why literacy is at the core of our Balanced Learning® curriculum and reading is a daily activity in every Primrose classroom.
Our focus on reading and books also provides an opportunity for service learning.
Each February, students at Primrose schools across the country collect some of their favorite books to share with children in their communities, donating new and gently used books to local libraries, hospitals, schools and nonprofit organizations. This initiative, Og’s Bountiful Books, is named for Og® the bookworm, the Primrose Friend who loves to share the joy of reading and embodies the trait of caring. It’s one of our Primrose PromiseSM giving events, and we hope programs like this help teach children the value of giving to others without expecting anything in return.
The event culminates in a celebration of Read Across America Day on March 2. This National Education Association event, which dates to 1998, encourages children across the country to broaden their horizons through exposure to a wide variety of children’s books.
“The value of reading to children and with children really can’t be overstated,” says Dr. Maria Shaheen, senior director of early childhood education for Primrose Schools. “Reading is the key to so many skills and lessons, from the earliest development of language to understanding the perspective of people who are different from you.”
Encouraging a Love of Reading at Home
Children benefit the most from reading when they get to do it at school and at home. Try these tips to encourage your child to appreciate reading:
- Read stories to your child daily, starting in infancy.
- Keep books in the home, either ones you buy or ones borrowed from the library. Library trips and story times can be exciting outings for children.
- Encourage preschool children to “read” stories to you. This can be describing to you what they think is happening on the page or making up their own story altogether.
- Keep books in the car for waiting times or long trips.
- Talk about characters in the stories and their actions and feelings.
- Help preschool children create books with their own stories about things you did together.
Books That Celebrate Belonging and Diversity
Our Balanced Learning approach teaches that everyone is different and unique, and that every child and family belongs. This emphasis on “belongingness” is highlighted in books in Primrose classrooms.
“The books in our classrooms give children a chance to see themselves, and also people who don’t look like them but who might have similar feelings or experiences,” Shaheen says. “This is important for developing identity and an appreciation for differences.”
Some books that can be found in Primrose classrooms include:
- A Is for Awesome! 23 Iconic Women Who Changed the World by Eva Chen
- Astro Girl by Ken Wilson-Max
- Baby Loves Aerospace Engineering! by Ruth Spiro
- Dream Big, Little One by Vashti Harrison
- Eyes That Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho
- Gravity by Jason Chin
- I Am Brave: A Little Book About Martin Luther King, Jr. by Brad Meltzer
- Peekaboo Morning by Rachel Isadora
- Think Big, Little One by Vashti Harrison
- Tickle, Tickle by Helen Oxenbury
- Toddler Two by Anastasia Suen
- We’re Better Together: A Book About Community by Eileen Spinelli
- What I Like About Me! A Book Celebrating Differences by Allia Zobel Nolan
- What Is Light? by Markette Sheppard
- You Matter by Christian Robinson
Need more inspiration for your next bookstore or library trip? Check out our other reading lists:
- Some of Our Favorite Books: Birth to Age 5
- 4 Books About Acceptance and Inclusion for Children
- Og’s Story Time Book List
Learn more about Og the bookworm and how he teaches a love of reading and caring for others.
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