How To Use The Library To Teach Your Child To Read

Learning to read helps children make sense of the world, boosts their confidence, and gives them a necessary tool to be lifelong learners. 

When you’re teaching your child to read, it only makes sense to utilize the place where bookworms thrive. 

Here’s how you can use the Elkhart Public Library to teach your child to read.

Woman teaches child to read at Elkhart Public Library

Set an example

You’re a role model and who your kids look up to, so it’s important to set a good example. Get a library card, bring your child with you to the library, and let them pick out the books they want. Giving them the freedom to choose books will help them feel in control and grown up. 

Then, read those books together. Reading aloud to your child helps build their reading and literacy skills. Plus, when your child sees you enjoying reading, it will inspire them to pick up books themselves. 

Establish goals

Setting goals and having rewards for meeting those goals can make reading fun. The sense of accomplishment that comes from reading and having an incentive has been motivating for many kids. 

If you aren’t sure where to start, we’re here to help. With Elkhart Public Library’s 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program, parents and children get incentives for every 100 books read. Why 1,000? The secret ingredient to mastering a skill is repetition.

When your child completes the program, they get even more rewards, like a free book and a certificate of completion. Taking advantage of reading programs the library offers is a great way to shape your child into a lifelong reader.

Attend storytimes 

Storytimes help nurture a love of reading and help children increase their vocabulary. Coming to storytimes at the library is a fun way to add some variety to your child’s journey of learning to read. 

Storytimes include hands-on activities and socialization — not just for your child, but for you, too! Storytimes offer an excellent opportunity to talk with other parents about their experiences of teaching their children to read. You might get some inspiration for new things to try or what books to grab during your next visit to the library.  

Take advantage of some extra help 

Learning to read takes time and dedication. The Elkhart Public Library’s Growing Readers program was designed to help children ages 3 to 8 improve their reading ability, writing, and skills like focusing and self-control.  

The program consists of individualized, 30-minute tutoring sessions led by a certified teacher. Sessions are held between 12:30 and 6 p.m. 

Sonya Overman, a 30-year educator hired into EPL’s Young People’s Services Department, developed the tutoring initiative. It launched in March 2022 to help meet the library’s strategic goal of making sure every child is ready to read by third grade.

The Elkhart Public Library wants to help the entire community learn and grow no matter how young or old. If your young reader is 4 years old or older and lives inside the city limits of Elkhart or in Cleveland, Concord or Osolo townships, they’re eligible for a free Elkhart Public Library card. You can start the process on the Elkhart Public Library website or by stopping into any of our locations during business hours.