01: “The More You Read, The Better You Get”

01: “The More You Read, The Better You Get”

We are joined this week by Cyndi Giorgis, co-author of the latest edition of the acclaimed and respected book, The Read Aloud Handbook, originally written by Jim Trelease. She is also a former first grade teacher, school librarian, committee member for numerous children’s book awards such as the Caldecott, Newbery and more, author and publisher, and is passionate about reading aloud to audiences of children. She joined us to chat about The Read Aloud Handbook and shared many of the benefits that come with reading aloud to kids of all ages.

In this episode, we talk about:

1. How Cyndi became involved with The Read Aloud Handbook.

2. Benefits of reading aloud with kids. The main benefit Cyndi gave us was the bonding that occurs when you read to children. Additionally, reading aloud gives children access to a much larger vocabulary of words and facts than they would hear in their everyday life.

3. The benefits of reading aloud extend to kids of all ages- maybe even more so as they get older. Research shows that reading aloud to kids starts to drop off around age seven, but we need to remember that a child’s listening level is much higher than their reading ability, so if we stop reading to them as they get older, they are missing out on all of these books and stories they cannot read themselves.

4. Reading out loud to older children can be a way to start conversations about things we aren’t sure how to talk to them about.

5. There is a difference between kids reading to themselves and reading aloud to them. Reading aloud to them gives them access to stories that they may not be able to access on their own. By reading aloud, we are also able to share, or “bless” a book with them the book- it is a gift we give them.

6. What can families who do not already have the foundation of reading in their homes do? Kids need to see their parents reading. “Parents need to maybe rediscover themselves as readers.” Designate times in your day that you will read aloud to them, such as at a meal time or bedtime. Even listening to an audiobook in the car with your kids gets you started in the right direction. If a child is reluctant, be patient and find the materials that they are excited about- be it poetry, graphic novels, nonfiction, pop-up books, etc.

7. Being read to by fathers and other men are an important part of the equation. With many teachers being women, it is more rare for kids to be read aloud to by men outside of their homes. Consequently, kids may not view reading as a thing that men do, which could affect them as they get older.

8. Included in The Read Aloud Handbook is what Cyndi calls a “treasure of books.” The first half is research, reading dos and dont;s, etc, but the second half is suggestions of great books to read aloud, separated into all different genres and reading levels. They are all great books and tested for reading aloud!

Cyndi left us with a great idea of how to get started on putting these great ideas into practice this week. She invited us to believe in the power of stories. When we read about someone like us, someone who inspires us or a place we don’t have access to, it can change our lives!

We are so grateful to Cyndi for taking the time to talk with us! More information about her and The Read Aloud Handbook can be found:

Instagram: @cyndigiorgis

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cyndigiorgis

Facebook: The Read-Aloud Handbook 

Website: https://www.cyndigiorgis.com

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