Penn State Fayette professor, students bring message to Zachariah Connell Elementary
Speaking to a group of teachers and parents, Penn State Fayette professor Elaine Barry addressed the need for reading regardless of the material or the content.
“What you read isn't necessarily important, it's that you read,” Barry said. “Reading to your children boosts their brains and reading to them is so beneficial.”
Barry was invited to speak Wednesday afternoon at Zachariah Connell Elementary School in Connellsville.
“She put on a good program and I think that the parents really enjoyed it,” Title 1 teacher Marian Bryson said. “Reading to your child is important, but so is having them read to you.”
Barry brought along some of her own favorite children's books to share, illustrating that you don't need books written especially for children for your child to enjoy the experience while learning.
“My son's favorite book was a coffee table book,” Barry said as she showed a large book based on the Galapagos Islands. “This is not a book written for children and it's really just something that sits on your coffee table that is filled with pretty photos, but he loved it. We would turn the pages and talk about the water and the photos and he always enjoyed it.”
Barry added that when reading to your child — even at a very young age — something as simple as making an animal noise related to the animal on the page is the same as telling them how a letter of the alphabet sounds.
“Reading a book doesn't have to be about really reading that book or reading all the words, it's about the experience,” Barry said. “Doing something like making sounds or animal noises helps them to build pre-reading skills.”
Barry also stressed that it is not important to devote an enormous amount of time to reading.
“If you don't have 35 minutes to read, then take 5 minutes,” she said, adding that children can get information from any type of book. “If it's a chapter book or a comic book, they will get some kind of information.”
Barry added that reading to a child, even those with attention problems, is very beneficial to having them learn to not only pay attention, but to listen.
“Reading to your child builds attention,” Barry said. “Reading to them helps their attention to grow.”
About 12 students from the university came with Barry and read to the children.
“I was happy to do it and the kids have been so excited,” student Angela Simmons, 21, of Uniontown said. “This was nice.”
Simmons read two books to a kindergarten class and a first-grade class. First-grade teacher Lori Dropik said she welcomed the guest reader.
“I think this was a great idea and I enjoyed it very much,” Dropik said. “We read in here every day and we even have a saying that we say all the time: ‘The more you read, the smarter you get.'”
Marilyn Forbes is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Fayette County history could fetch big bucks at Ohio auction
- Deer processing fee waived for Hunters Sharing the Harvest participants
- Porterfield: Hunters’ breakfast buffet planned at Mill Run Grille
- Salvation Army kicks off annual kettle campaign
- Washington Township woman savors family’s turkey farm tradition
- Man charged with impersonating doctor for free Nemacolin stay
- Christmas Cheer Club back to aid needy Mon Valley kids
- Ex-turnpike worker gets 16 years in child porn case
- Connellsville officers get bulletproof vests
- Poachers blamed for wounding bear that killed pets in Connellsville Twp.
- Valve repair needed to control water levels at Greenlick dam