Many of us have spent the last several months trying to reimagine our instruction, learning, meetings and even gatherings on a virtual platform through a computer screen. Although we have apps and programs like Kindle, Vooks and countless books being read aloud on YouTube, we know at St. George’s that there’s something special about the old-fashioned, familiar, tangible book.
If you have ever been on campus or had the pleasure of taking one of our reimagined virtual tours, it’s hard to miss the beautiful Mims Laudeman Library on the second floor of Porteous Hall. It’s a relaxing space that our students love to be in while looking for that perfect book to read.
At St. George's books are such an important piece of learning, and we strive to always keep books in the classrooms for our students. Our Parents Group hosts the Holiday Book Fair each year to support our school and provide our teachers with new books for their classrooms. Like most of our events this year, the Holiday Book Fair is virtual. However, St. George’s appreciates the continued opportunity to provide our students with the gift of reading.
The importance of reading extends further than surface value. Reading opens up a child’s entire world. In fact, reading to a child is very important at a young age, even before they can say their first words.
Reading to your little ones can introduce concepts such as numbers, letters, colors and shapes in a fun way. At the same time, it builds listening skills, vocabulary skills and sharpens the memory. Reading helps young children understand the world around them. The more stories you read aloud, the more words the child will hear and the better they'll be able to communicate.
Reading aloud encourages infants and toddlers to look, point, touch and answer questions, which directly helps with social development and thinking skills. Most importantly, reading aloud to little ones creates a strong connection between you and them, while also developing a love for books. This helps them associate books with happiness and sets them up for a long life of reading and learning.
When children reach lower school, many of them are starting to build their independence in many ways. Not only does reading help students build confidence, it helps them develop their concentration skills, improves memory, boosts critical thinking skills, enhances their imagination and increases empathy. When it comes to learning about a subject, technology has provided us so many avenues in education to help our students achieve success.
Between ages 5 and 10, reading becomes a major way for students to discover their personal interests and define their core values, sense of self and better understand their aspirations.
In the middle school years, reading becomes a tool to enhance and fine tune reading comprehension. Several studies have shown that fiction helps trick our brains into thinking we’re a part of the story. Middle schoolers can directly relate to the characters in the story, which helps build strong social skills in their own life. In other words, books can teach children valuable lessons about considering other people’s feelings, understanding different perspectives and opening up their world to cultures and people with whom they have never interacted.
At St. George’s we honor the whole child, and emphasizing the importance of books and reading is one of the many ways we ensure that each child is presented with the opportunity to be the best version of themselves. We hope that you have enjoyed perusing the virtual Book Fair with your child, and we can’t wait to watch their world continue to open up as they begin a new adventure through each book.
The virtual St. George's Holiday Book Fair is open through Sunday, December 13th. Click here to shop!