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Library to offer Early Literacy Workshop

Parents, caregivers can learn fun, simple skills to enhance reading readiness


REVIEW PHOTO: CLIFF NEWELL - Children's librarian Amy Grimes and 5-year-old Anne Benincosa are looking forward to the Early Literacy Workshop on April 22. Grimes wants Anne to persuade her mother to attend.When it comes to learning how to read, you’re never too young.

That’s why the children’s librarians at the Lake Oswego Public Library are offering an Early Literacy Workshop at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

The workshop is designed to give parents and caregivers some simple, easy, fun ways to help a child — even a very young child — get on the road to reading.

“We want to teach parents to get their children prepared so they will have the skills to become readers,” said librarian Amy Grimes.

“And these are skills that can be used every day,” librarian Judy Dunlap said. “Parents will be able to recognize opportunities they didn’t know were there. They can enhance their child’s reading readiness at an early age.”

The workshop will focus on six specific skills: vocabulary, print motivation, letter knowledge, print awareness, narrative skills and phonological awareness. It’s a list that sounds complicated, but all are skills that can be attained in a fun way, through talking, singing, reading, writing and playing.

Parents and caregivers will discover that there are all kinds of situations in which they can teach their child the rudiments of reading. It’s the first time such a workshop has been held at the library, but the librarians expect it to be a success.

“We’ve had a lot of feedback from other libraries that have put on this workshop,” Grimes said. “Everyone here is excited about it. People don’t realize how easy these skills are to do. Parents will have a larger vocabulary to work with their children on reading.”

Added Dunlap, “Parents will be able to help their children into reading with ease and confidence.”

Parents will learn to show their kids how a book works by turning it page by page and how to better acquaint children with the vocabulary used in books. There will be a “wordless” book, which will contain only pictures and allow children to use their imaginations to provide the stories. Plus, singing will be used instead of reading for some stories.

“When you sing, it slows down the words,” Dunlap noted.

There will be all kinds of reading material, including classic books like “Froggy Gets Dressed” and “Bingo Was Her Name,” which is a singable book if there ever was one.

“This workshop will help parents use things that happen throughout the day to help their children read,” Dunlap said, “like looking at signs or making a grocery list. They can get very creative.”

Instead of reading being a challenge or chore, it can become easy and fun and something greatly anticipated. “There’s nothing worse than being a frustrated reader,” Grimes said.

Librarian Katie Charles will assist Grimes and Dunlap at the workshop. Participants will receive a free book, a free rhyme book and a voucher good for up to $10 in library fines.

The workshop is free, but registration is required. To register, send an email to lochild@ci.oswego.or.us or call 503 697-6580.

The Lake Oswego Public Library is located at 706 Fourth St.

Contact Cliff Newell at 503-636-1281 ext. 105 or cnewell@lakeoswegoreview.com.

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