Friday, May 12, 2017

The Power of Reading Aloud

Earlier this month, our Public Information Coordinator Tabitha Whetstine transformed into Super Girl and set out on a mission to read aloud to the children at several child care centers in our community!  

Tabitha read “Mother Bruce” by Ryan T. Higgins, “Clifford the Firehouse Dog” by Norman Bridwell and “Doc McStuffins Doctor’s Helper” by Sheila Sweeny Higginson.

By reading aloud to the young children at the child care centers, Tabitha exposed them to more words, sparked their curiosity, and gave them more reasons to love books!  In fact, reading aloud to young children promotes language development and early literacy skills, such as word sound awareness, understanding how stories work, recognition of sounds and letters, knowledge of a wide range of vocabulary and the ability to listen. 

All of these skills are essential as children start school and learn to read. 

Click here to learn about the benefits of reading aloud and to download free reading resources for parents and educators. 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

9 Children's Books to Read Aloud This Spring

Did you know that children who are introduced to reading early on tend to read earlier and excel in school compared to children who are not exposed to language and books at a young age?  Since it's never too late to make reading aloud a daily routine with your child, we've compiled a list of our favorite spring-themed children's books that your children are sure to love!

I See Spring by Charles Ghigna (Ages 2-5)

Rooting for You by Susan Hood (Ages 2-5)

Caterpillar Spring, Butterfly Summer by Susan Hood (Ages 2-6)

Hurray for Spring by Patricia Hubbell (Ages 3-5) 

Olaf Welcomes Spring by Brittany Rubiano (Ages 3-5) 

Fran’s Flower by Lisa Bruce (Ages 3-7) 

And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano (Ages 4-7) 

When Spring Comes by Kevin Henkes (Ages 4-8) 

Come Along Daisy! by Jane Simmons (Ages 5-8) 


Click here to learn more about the benefits of reading aloud. 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

7 Kids Books to Read This Fall

The leaves are slowly starting to transform into their beautiful red, yellow and orange colors, which can only mean one thing: fall has officially arrived!  The shorter days and cooler nights will give you and your child plenty of time to cuddle up and enjoy books together.  Whether you’re outside enjoying some fresh air or curled up together on the couch, your kids will love hearing these stories all autumn long.

“Duck & Goose Find a Pumpkin” by Tad Hill (ages 1-2)

“Where is Baby’s Pumpkin” by Karen Katz (ages 1-4)

“Berenstain Bears & the Spooky Old Tree” by Jan Berenstain (ages 2-5)

“Leaf Man” by Lois Ehlert (ages 3-7)

“How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin” by Margaret McNamara (ages 3-7)

“The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything” by Linda Williams (ages 4-8)

“Fletcher and the Falling Leaves” by Julia Rawlinson (ages 4-8)


Thursday, September 1, 2016

It's never too early to start reading aloud!

The first five years of life offer a critical window for learning, with rapid brain development that does not occur at any other time. When you read to your child every day during this time period, you are exposing them to more words and helping them develop the basic literacy skills they need to succeed in kindergarten and beyond.  Luckily, there is an abundance of books available for you to choose from.  Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Toy Boat by Randall de Seve/Loren Long
  • Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
  • Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
  • Do Unto Otters by Laurie Keller
  • Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell & David Caltrow
  • Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown & Clement Hurd
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  • The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton
  • The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
  • Go, Dog, Go! By Dr. Seuss
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.
  • We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen
  • Clip Clop by Nicola Smee
  • Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker
  • Where’s Spot by Eric Hill

Click here to learn more about choosing books for children.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Vaccinations: Protecting Your Child’s Health

National Immunization Awareness Month is celebrated throughout the month of August by raising awareness about the importance of immunizations for children and adults of all ages. As the new school year quickly approaches, it’s important for parents to check their child’s immunization records and make sure they are up to date. Taking care of this before the new school year begins will help parents save money and time in the long run.


Why Does Your Child Need Vaccinations? 


Child care facilities, preschool programs and schools are prone to outbreaks of infectious diseases, such as measles, whooping cough, chicken pox and the flu. When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk for disease and can easily spread sickness to others in their play groups, child care centers, classrooms and communities. Babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer and other health conditions can easily catch infectious diseases that are spread by unvaccinated children.

Getting your child vaccinated according to the recommended immunization schedule is one of the most important things a parent can do to protect their child’s health.  By age 2, babies will be protected from 14 serious and life-threatening diseases.

Immunization Resources for Parents


Parents can keep their children up to date on their vaccinations by visiting their family healthcare provider or using resources provided by their health department. If you reside in Gaston County or Lincoln County, North Carolina you may be eligible for free vaccination programs offered in both counties.

Gaston County Health and Human Services offers immunization services on a walk-in basis from 8am-4pm, Monday-Friday.  Appointments may also be scheduled by calling (704) 853-5009.  Some vaccines are free for children who are eligible for the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program.  Click here to learn more.

Lincoln County Health Department offers routine vaccinations to children ages 0-5 years old who are eligible for their Vaccine for Children (VFC) program.  Visit their website for a full list of immunization services. 


Source: NAIM Communication Toolkit: Babies & Young Children