Nature versus nurture; this is surely an age old question. In this context, nature is something that humans are born with such as physical traits and even certain behaviors. It is the exterior influences, the nurturing we receive or lack thereof that can modify these behaviors including our physical traits if one goes so far.
Almost every baby born has the capacity for great intelligence. A baby’s brain grows at an exponential rate with the ability to take in and learn far more than a fully grown adult. These early years are key in the learning experience. It is important for parents and caregivers to model their behavior so children can learn by example. This includes modeling good literacy behaviors. When parents read with their child, when a child sees a parent reading or even just having books in the home, children are more likely to have a deeper love of the reading experience. If books and literacy are not a priority this may be reflected in the child’s developmental rate. Children who do not have access to books at a young age will be at a disadvantage when entering the formal school setting. Because most schooling begins with Kindergarten it is in the hands of the parent or caregiver to make sure their babies and toddlers practice early literacy skills every day. This will include reading, singing, talking, playing and exploring to promote healthy development during the crucial period of birth to five years old. And of course, the public library can play a major role in connecting parents to the resources they need to help make this happen.
The GPL Children’s Department is offering a new program called 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten to help parents and caregivers give their little ones the language and tools they need to succeed. This program is for babies to children entering Kindergarten. Stop by the Children’s Reference Desk for more information on this early literacy program and get started today.