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Read to Me takes place to encourage at-home literacy

Throughout November, the United Way of the Greater Chippewa Valley (UWGCV) will hold “Read to Me” Book Month events in 12 communities across Chippewa and Eau Claire counties. All the events will help to promote the importance of early literacy and celebrate National Picture Book Month.

Included on the 4K itenerary, are stops at Lake Holcombe School Wednesday, Nov. 6, from 12:30-1:30 p.m., and at the Cornell Elementary School from 9:30-10:30 a.m. All the events are open to the public, and each family who attends, will receive a free copy of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and take-home literacy activities.

Read to Me events will feature literacy champions reading a popular children’s book, and will include activities such as a sing-a-long, finger play and a literacy activity. Literacy champions include zookeepers, veterinarians and other local early-learning advocates.

The events are tailored to children ages birth to five, and their parents/guardians, to help promote early childhood development, with an emphasis on how to engage children and families with reading at home.

The goal of Read to Me Book Month is to encourage families to spend 15 minutes a day, reading to their children. Research has shown that a child from a low income home has heard 30 million less words by the age of three, than his or her peers – this is called Word Gap. Because 80 percent of the brain is hardwired by the age of three, Word Gap has a direct link to school readiness and ultimately to the Achievement Gap.

Closing the Word Gap can be achieved one word at a time and the event encourages families to continue the habit of reading at home.