Richmond families celebrate National Reading Month

Books can transport children to new places, sparking their imagination and increasing their understanding of the world. We had a wonderful time celebrating the power of reading today in Richmond at a Virginia Preschool Initiative family event that included Frances Frost, family ambassador for the U.S. Department of Education, and staff from NCFL.

Richmond Reading Event 3-16-2017 from NCFL on Vimeo.

“Parents are an integral part of their children’s learning and education,” Frost said. “In fact, parent engagement is an important factor of student success. Starting a child on a path toward academic achievement begins well before the child enters school.”

Parent and child engaging in PACT Time® at MLK, Jr. Preschool in Richmond

Each month, parents of children enrolled at Martin Luther King, Jr. Preschool Learning Center come together to learn how they can support their children in achieving the skills they need to be kindergarten-ready, and to succeed throughout their academic careers. Today’s class celebrated National Reading Month and the importance of parents and children reading together every day.

“Time spent reading together daily strengthens bonds between a parent and child while also allowing young children to build more vocabulary and language skills,” said Josh Cramer, NCFL vice president. “When we build up the child and the parent simultaneously, the entire family is able to better reach its potential.”

Class leaders modeled reading aloud before the parents and children partnered up for Parent and Child Together (PACT) Time®. NCFL also donated books for the children to take home to read.

Frost speaking with parents
Frost (top right) speaking with parents at MLK, Jr. Preschool in Richmond

Frost led parents in a discussion about parent and family engagement in education. She is a parent, teacher, coach, author and blogger, and an advocate for equitable and quality education. As the first family ambassador for the U.S. Department of Education, a post she took in September 2016, Frost is tasked with increasing parent and family engagement in education policy.

The Virginia Literacy Foundation, working with Richmond Public Schools, has been a continuing partner with NCFL and its Toyota Family Learning model – a two-generation approach to educational challenges – since 1991. In this model, parents work toward their own literacy goals while also learning how to be engaged and become an advocate for their children’s education.

Are you celebrating National Reading Month? Please tell us how you are celebrating in the comments below or share photos with us on Facebook or Twitter!