Education company helps parents get involved and strengthens an unspoken bond among cultures

Education company in Evanston, Illinois, releases affordable ebook to help early childhood educators encourage parental involvement in schools and build literacy with rhymes and poems in multiple languages that are connected to interactive gestures.
Feb. 18, 2013 - PRLog -- Stepping Stones Media Productions released the ebook for Hand SongsRead and Rhyme with Me. Early childhood educators, parents, and kids now have the option of accessing the digital anthology that includes one song (Spanish/English), two rhymes (French/English; Hindi/English), and a poem (Mandarin/English). Kathleen Ermitage (publisher) and Kit San Fratello (career educator) initially started the company to “give parents confidence in reading to their children, their most important audience.” They carefully selected the pieces for about a year to find songs, poems, and rhymes that are authentic to each culture. Kathleen says, “The research process was my little trip around the world.”

Each piece also includes symbols for finger plays called Hand Songs™, which are gestures and actions to get readers to actively engage with the content. The Hand Songs™ symbols are universal. Kit says, “We identified a research study by the University of Chicago that shows that the use of gestures builds literacy in early childhood.” Readers are introduced to different languages and have a short cultural experience featuring Mexico, France, India, and China at the same time.

Children between the ages of 3 and five are prepared for each piece with before activities, which explain the background and provide prior reading activities. Kit says, “These are the things that any good reading teacher would do. Easy for a parent to do.”

The first time the book was used in a classroom the authors witnessed a shy mother whose first language was Spanish. She eventually joined the group reading because she recognized the Spanish song piece and she also learned the English version. At another location, a Pakistani mom and an Indian mom read the Hindi piece to each other. The illustrations and symbols are designed to help children see the connection between the English text and the Spanish, French, Hindi, and Mandarin pieces. A CD is also available for the book.

Hand Songs Read and Rhyme with Me: From Many Lands Ebook is available at—

Barnes and Noble: (




For more information contact the publisher: or Kathleen Ermitage at (847) 440-4783.

ABOUT: Stepping Stones Media Productions, LLC provides educational materials with specific focus on early childhood education, multicultural, and after-school materials in major cities in the United States and for use throughout the world. The books are available through through Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords and Koby.

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