Get Motivated! has been honored to have 6 US Presidents grace our stage over the years. We are saddened that President George H.W. Bush passed on November 30th. President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara (died April 17, 2018) both spoke on our stage. Family was important to both of them and so, to honor both of them, we would like to share an article Barbara Bush wrote for one of our workbooks.
A Special Message to Families from Barbara Bush
I am so happy for this chance to share a message of enormous importance to every one of our families: Learning begins at home, and reading with our children is one of the best ways to start them learning.
There is so much in print that is valuable for us and our children to read together. The real point is to keep reading—as much and as often as we can. Reading helps us grow, head and heart. It gets children ready for school and helps them do better once they get there. It’s a special time for children to be close to grown-ups who care for them, a wonderful way to feel loved. And it’s a source of pleasure that’s always available to us, now and throughout our lives.
Children love to be read to. A dear friend told me that her most vivid memory of her father is of snuggling up to him every single evening as he read her the comics pages. Traditions strengthen families, and reading aloud is a wonderful tradition to pass on.
5 Tips for Reading Aloud
1 Establish a routine for reading aloud.
When you make reading aloud a regular, dependable part of your child’s routine, you show that it’s as much a part of daily life as brushing teeth or having an afternoon snack. Reading becomes a habit, one of the best your child can have.
2 Make reading together a special time.
George and I ask our visiting grandchildren to wake us up in the morning so that we can read with them in bed. Children love the coziness of reading a book together and so will you. Let your child know that this is a time to count on your undivided attention.
3 Ask others who take care of your children to read aloud.
Whether family, friends, employees, or good caregivers read to children out loud, they are learning as they are listening. If you’re looking for a good day care center, ask if the program includes daily reading aloud. When your child starts school, visit the classroom and look for well-stocked bookshelves and lots of other things to read.
4 Let your children see you reading.
Kids model their behavior after their parents’. If your children see you reading and enjoying it, they’re more likely to follow suit.
5 Keep reading aloud even after your children learn to read.
Parents and educators, too sometimes feel that children over the age of seven or eight years old don’t want to be read to. This really is not true. You’re never too old to be read to.
While visiting a library, I met a young father holding his daughter in his lap and reading to her. We talked about raising children, and he said, “I wish I could give my daughter more, a nicer home, prettier clothes.” And I told him, “You’re already giving her the most valuable gift of all.
Reading is one of my greatest joys, and I learned to love to read at home, as my children and grandchildren have. I could wish nothing better for you and your family.