Archive 2008 - 2019

Help Me Get Ready to Read

by Ann Talbot

One of the most important of life’s skills is reading. You are using it right now. At some point in the past you learned to read – someone taught you. You can help the children in your life to get ready to read and this new guide can tell you how.

Barbara Kasok (above) has worked as an elementary teacher, in Title I programs and in publishing where she was in touch with reading gurus around the country. She wrote lesson plans for teachers, so why not for parents? She met Susan Marx who facilitated parenting workshops and was a writer and editor. The duo became a successful collaboration over three years, writing and rewriting, giving the material to friends to review and finalizing the book Help Me Get Ready to Read.
The book emphasizes a nurturing environment for a child. The most important concepts for the pre-reader are alphabet awareness and “phonological” awareness which includes paying attention to sounds and their rhythms. The concepts can be taught in short, little activities with strategies presented in the guide.
The suggestions in Help Me Get Ready to Read are very practical. A child will learn to make sense of print and its direction, turning pages, clapping out rhythms, letter recognition and connecting sound to letters. The caring adult will learn strategies using six specific books that can be applied to any children’s book. The guide recommends 275 so the adult will become familiar with authors. No book is too easy and illustration is crucial. The adult will learn to have patience and perseverance, and when to stop when the child loses interest to be continued at another time.
Help Me Get Ready to Read is not limited to parents. Grandparents, baby sitters, child care givers, nannies, librarians, any caring adult will benefit from this book. I can envision this guide as a baby shower gift or a birthday present of a few of the Talk About Books for the child with the guide tucked in for the rest of the family.
Where can you find more about this guide and its authors? Click on and where you can purchase the book.

We are proud of Holliston’s Barbara Kasok for recognizing a need, acting upon it and coming up with such a pleasant result. Her co-author Susan Marx will be doing a workshop at the HopkintonMetroWest YMCA on January17th. Call the Y for more information.