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United Way Blog

Five Tips For Helping Kids Read Better

Reading aloud to kids goes a long way in helping strengthen their reading skills. 

Whether you’re a parent, grandparent or volunteer, here are 5 ways you can enrich your read-aloud sessions with kids:

  1. Do It Daily – Read aloud every day. Books are best, but reading ads on the subway or signs in the grocery store reinforces reading skills too.
  2. Make It Two-Way – Interactivity counts. Kids may enjoy holding the book or turning the pages. Ask them to point to words on the page or help you read the words. Explain unfamiliar words.
  3. Have Some Fun – If you’re reading a book with different characters, create a voice for each one.  It draws the child in, and it’s fun to be silly!
  4. Talk About It – Ask the child if they liked the story, and why. Encourage children to ask questions about the characters, pictures, and words.
  5. Extend the Learning –  Connect reading to real life. After reading a book about hungry caterpillars, make a game of finding caterpillars at the park, look up caterpillars online or check out a book on butterflies from the library!

In South Florida, women affiliated with United Way are joining together to help kids read through weekly reading buddy sessions in the classroom.  Across Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Broward County, Women United is helping kids become great readers by the end of 3rd grade, when kids start reading to learn. We’re volunteering as reading buddies, and getting more books to children. It matters: kids who read on grade level by 4th grade are more likely to graduate high school.

We’re also coming together to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday on March 2, known as Read Across America Day. It’s the biggest celebration of reading in America, fueled by 3+ million educators, parents, athletes, elected leaders and more coming together.

Who doesn’t love a party? Put on a red-and-white-striped Dr. Seuss hat, pull out your favorite Dr. Seuss book and join Women United in South Florida as we seek to create positive change in our communities. If you’re really feeling it, take a photo with your favorite childhood book, and post your “shelfie” on your social media platforms. (Use the hashtags #Shelfie and #ReadAcrossAmerica.)

Here in South Florida, Women United is driving change that’s making a difference for children and families every day, not just on Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Find out more about Women United, and join us!