Originally Published: April 2, 2011 9:57 p.m.
First Things First focuses on many facets of early childhood development, to include the importance of prenatal care and the value of getting young children immunized. Another of its areas of emphasis is reading - specifically, parents reading to their children. To First Things First, you can't start early enough; and they emphasize this by providing Parent Kits at hospitals that feature the newborns' very first book. The hope is that parents will be encouraged to read, talk and bond with their children. Reading, talking and singing are critical ways to build relationships with young children.
Literacy is a critical theme in First Things First home visitation programs, where parent educators provide a wealth of information to support early reading as part of children's emerging communication skills. Pre-kindergarten expansion programs endeavor to make early education - and early literacy experiences - more accessible to families of young children. And, through Quality First, First Things First helps child care centers focus on early literacy by building libraries and literacy centers that can engage and inspire young readers.
A new tool is now available to parents - web videos that help parents make reading to their kids more enjoyable and effective. There are separate videos for parents of infants, toddlers and preschoolers. They are actually very instructive and easy to follow, just what a new mom or dad wants to hear. And, they are short and to the point. Busy parents might appreciate this new tool, as they work to make learning and reading full and effective for their children - even their very young children.
To access these helpful videos, you can go to YouTube and to the FTF Arizona Channel at http://www.youtube.com/ftfarizona.
According to First Things First, "Children who develop a love of reading put energy and enthusiasm into their learning - and build exciting futures along the way." These videos might help parents develop the skills to develop that love of reading.