It is my great privilege, as the librarian, to serve both you and your children in this new 2016-2017 school year. As is surely no surprise to you, as the librarian one of my jobs is to promote reading and help students to create the habit of reading. However, this task I cannot do alone. The role that parents play in the education of their students and the promotion of reading is crucial. Together, I know that we can make reading an important part of your children’s’ lives. And to help with this, I will be uploading tips and resources to the school’s website that help promote reading. We are all on this journey of being lifelong learners as we continually grow and develop in the Lord. MIEL’s theme of “increasing in wisdom and stature” (Luke 2:52) does not end when we finish school, but continues for us as adults as well.
Before I jump right into all the ways to promote reading with your children, some of you may be wondering if reading is really all that important or might be curious about what the benefits actually are. The benefits of reading are many, but I will mention only a few:
It stimulates the mind and imagination. Your brain is a muscle that needs to be worked as well as any other muscle.
It helps to reduce stress. Your mind is something that needs to rest just like the rest of your body. Reading can help give your mind a break by changing pace and therefore reducing stress.
Reading is a great way to increase knowledge and to promote learning. Reading about things other than what they learn in the classroom will help your children to have a more well-rounded education.
Reading helps you to improve memory as you need to remember characters, scenes, subplots and other details about the book that you are reading. Each time you memorize something new, it expands your brain’s capabilities and reinforces the ones that were already there.
Reading helps to improve concentration and focus. With the abundance of fast-moving technology that promotes multi-tasking, production often goes down as people form the habit of doing too many things at once. Reading allows people to create the habit of focusing on one single task, which, for students, makes it easier for them to focus in the classroom at school.
Reading helps to increase knowledge of vocabulary and writing skills. Reading exposes the reader to new words and professional, developed writing-styles. This, in turn, improves the ability to communicate clearly and to write more effectively.
And for those of you with younger children, there are additional benefits to reading to them or with them:
Reading to your children creates a special bond and is an excellent way to show your love and care for your children, which is an essential part of their emotional development.
For preschool children, reading with them promotes a positive attitude towards learning and can help them to be better students in school as they continue to grow.
Reading to your children helps to open up communication which improves the relationship you have with your children and instills in them important social skills with their peers.
Reading to your children at an early age helps them to develop more quickly in their language skills and to communicate more clearly.
These are just a few of the many benefits of reading. In the end, reading is an essential part of a well-rounded, successful education for any student and a well-rounded, successful professional career for any adult. For Christians, this is especially important as we have an extra responsibility to prepare ourselves in the best way possible, because the work that we do is for the glory of God, who certainly deserves our very best. If you have not formed the habit of reading in your lives or in the lives of your children, do not worry, it’s never too late. The Bible tells us that God’s mercies are new each and every day and that he gives us the strength we need to accomplish every task that is before us (Lam. 3:22-24).
May God bless you richly, and happy reading!