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Raising Readers

Treehouse Children’s Museum is all about “stepping into a story” and encouraging children and adults to share good stories from around the globe. From our story-based exhibits to our theater and arts-based programming, Treehouse supports the importance of reading and vocabulary development through playful interactions. The mission of Treehouse is especially critical right now as childhood is increasingly contracting and children’s play is largely supervised sports. Treehouse is a place that supports learning through child-directed play and through collaborative play as children retell stories and create their own – essential skills for becoming successful readers.

We know that developing reading skills in the preschool and early elementary years is vital. Research shows that if children are not proficient readers by the time they are in third grade, they are four times more likely to drop out of high school. Children who start Kindergarten without basic pre reading skills are less confident and comfortable and that effects their ability to learn new things and succeed in school.

The Treehouse staff and Board of Trustees love finding and sharing new, useful literacy tools with parents and educators. We were recently contacted about a Harvard Graduate School of Education slideshow for parents of K through 12 students. It takes just a few moments to watch the slide show and it offers good strategies for supporting children’s literacy development and provides helpful benchmarks for where a child should be with regard to reading skills.

 

We also just learned about – from our friends at United Way of Northern Utah – a great, free* text messaging system that supports literacy. Caregivers just text  UTFAMILY to 274448 to receive tips by text about raising a reader from birth to age 5.  The ideas we’ve been sent by text have contained great information and have linked to other educational resources parents and grandparents will find very helpful. *Please be aware that depending on your phone plan, message and data rates may apply.

If you have questions about raising strong readers or about Treehouse’s mission and programs, please call us at 801-394-9663 or email us at treehouse@treehousemuseum.org.