As of today, the KBN website features a complete program of free books and instructional support designed to enable any parent to teach their toddler to begin reading before the age of two.
“We're installing our Read At Two program for parents and caregivers to children from approximately 18-36 months old, the toddler age,” explained Dr. Uncle Henry, the Kids’ Book Network CEO. “Then, we're installing the same books – with the addition of their California teaching/learning standards – for use in the classroom with young learners in Pre-K, Kindergarten and beyond.
“This way (a) parents now have an easy-to-follow path on which to scaffold their children's early reading and language development, and (b) young learners can continue on and even accelerate their learning progress with the same familiar books as part of their first years in classroom education.
“And finally, (c) professional classroom teachers and educators can both support parent at-home teaching, as well as work with traditional public and school libraries and librarians to additional book and reading/learning materials which might be beneficial at home.”
Why is such early reading development so crucially important? The answer has to do with both early vocabulary development and the habit of intellectual exploration during the at-home toddler phase of child development, without which a child may later experience an irreplaceable loss of learning facility in middle- and high school.
As discovered through a major longitudinal study by educational researchers Hart and Risley [The Early Catastrophe:
That’s what daily reading with books can achieve. And that’s what KBN’s new national initiative is all about.
KBN today wants every parent and educator in America to understand that all children need to sit in their parent or caregiver’s lap every day and start reading books, and more books, beginning as early as just 14- or 16- or 18-months old. To that end, KBN’s free Read At Two program and Parent Handbook provide a sensible, practical platform, or every-day learning/development instrument, to enable families to give their children the critical interactive parent-child experience they need for strong mental development. Reading development is almost a side benefit to the increase in vocabulary development and affirmation experience that comes with parents holding their babies on their laps and discovering the meaning and content of books.
Local site-level implementation of KBN’s national Read At Two initiative, including education and family support, will be directed in parallel by the U.S. Reading Team Foundation, which will seek to work closely with families in local and regional school, library and social services partnerships – to help us all step up to a new standard in American education.
# # #
Prototype Entertainment Products is an independent West Coast-based developer of entertainment properties for conventional and virtual media, innovative brands, and new media concepts. On September 1, 2009, Prototype launched KBN, the Kids' Book Network.