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Read Around the World
Every child should experience the joy of reading. Kiwanis members believe this, and have long been dedicated to Kiwanis’ Read Around the World program. But reading projects deserve more than a monthlong observance. That’s why the Kiwanis Club of Winter Haven has implemented an annual literacy program for students in local Head Start programs.
Volunteers from Winter Haven Kiwanis visit six local Head Start centers once a month for six months during the school year. In addition to reading to students, each child receives a book to take home every month. Since 2004, the Kiwanis Club of Winter Haven Foundation has provided more than 17,000 books to nearly 3,000 children in our community.
Head Start programs supported by Winter Haven Kiwanis:
- Auburndale Central Elementary
- Eagle Lake Elementary
- Garner Elementary
- Snively Elementary
- Wahnetta Elementary
- Winter Haven Head Start
You can help! Be a monthly sponsor of Read Around the World for $250.
Kiwanis International urges the entire Kiwanis family to implement Read Around the World projects throughout the entire year.
More reading projects touch more kids’ lives. What can you do? Read to children. Then give them books they can cherish again and again.
Tips for reading to kids
The tips listed below are a great resource for reading aloud, provided by author Mem Fox:
- Spend at least ten wildly happy minutes every single day reading aloud.
- Read at least three stories a day; it may be the same story three times. Children need to hear a thousand stories before they begin to learn to read.
- Read aloud with animation. Listen to your own voice and don’t be dull, or flat, or boring. Hang loose and be loud, have fun and laugh a lot.
- Read with joy and enjoyment. Real enjoyment for yourself and great joy for the listeners.
- Read the stories that kids love, over and over and over again, and always read in the same “tune” for each book: i.e. with the same intonations on each page, each time.
- Let children hear lots of language by talking to them constantly about the pictures, or anything else connected to the book; or sing any old song that you can remember; or say nursery rhymes in a bouncy way; or be noisy together doing clapping games.
- Look for rhyme, rhythm or repetition in books for young children, and make sure the books are really short.
- Play games with the things that you and the child can see on the page, such as letting kids finish rhymes, and finding the letters that start the child’s name and yours, remembering that it’s never work, it’s always a fabulous game.
- Never ever teach reading, or get tense around books.
- Please read aloud every day, mums and dads, because you just love being with your child, not because it’s the right thing to do.
Kiwanis is proud to partner with Scholastic, an organization that supports children’s access to books and lifelong love of reading. Thanks to our partnership, Kiwanis clubs get crucial resources for helping children in their communities get access to books and reading opportunities — regardless of socioeconomic status.
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View January 2011 Issue of FOCUS Magazine