Our reading culture

The Importance of Reading Aloud

One of the most important things parents can do to prepare children for success in school is to read aloud to them. Reading is a very important part of the TPCA culture. We encourage our young children to read, or be read to, at least three times per week, and preferably every day. As you read to your child, he or she becomes a good listener, learns to focus, and lengthens his or her attention span. Your child is also learning new words. The language in books is very rich compared with the verbal shorthand that we use in daily conversation. Best of all, reading together creates a special opportunity to bond with your child. Reading together creates opportunities to learn and discuss feelings and relationships, as well as knowledge of the world. These experiences come together to give children several advantages in early education.

Because young children learn naturally through listening and speaking, most of the instruction in early elementary is oral-based. Children with larger and more sophisticated vocabularies have an advantage in school simply because they understand what the teacher is saying. To encourage reading with your child, we offer these tips:

Read slowly, with expression 
Follow the words with your finger as you read 
Point to pictures and say the names of objects and colors 
Ask your child to turn the pages 
Ask your child to describe the pictures
Take time to answer your child’s questions 
Read a variety of books

The Reading Challenge

The TPCA Reading Challenge began during the 2010–11 school year as a way to encourage students to read more, to recognize how much reading is a part of the school day, and to develop a life-long love of reading. Students become better readers by simply reading. The original challenge was for 600,000 minutes and involved grades K–8. During the 2013–14 school year, our K–6 students were challenged to read for 3 million minutes. Students exceeded the goal and read 3.5 million minutes. Next year's challenge will include the 7th and 8th graders.