Needle and ThREAD

Reading Is Fundamental

rainbow.jpgReading Is Fundamental is the oldest and largest children’s and family literacy nonprofit organization in the US. Through community volunteers in every state and U.S. territory, RIF provides 4.5 million children with 16 million new, free books and literacy resources each year.

The RIF Web site is, as you might expect, a treasure trove for educators, families, and anyone interested in literacy. The parents’ area of the site offers programs, ideas, and resources for raising strong readers. I love the Tips and Tricks page.

Number 5 of 10 Tips for Parents of School-age Children suggests:

Cook with your child to develop literacy

  • Read recipes together
  • Read the labels on ingredients together
  • Make a family cookbook of favorite recipes

I’m going to go out on a limb here and propose Number 5.5:

Stitch with any child to develop literacy

  • Read patterns together
  • Read the labels of materials together
  • Make bookmarks for your favorite books

Right now, at this very moment, 2009 funding for RIF is being determined in Congress. If you want some of your tax dollars to support RIF programs, now is a good time to let your Senators and Representatives in Washington know.

Some literacy facts from the RIF Web site:

  • Reading aloud to infants stimulates their brains to create new learning pathways and strengthen existing ones.
  • When adults interact with young children—talking, singing and playing rhyming games—they stimulate language and vocabulary development and build important foundations for learning to read.
  • Studies of individual families show that what they do to support literacy in the home is more important to student success than family income or education.
  • Less than half of families read to their kindergarten-age children on a daily basis.
  • Children who score at the 90th percentile on a reading test spent five times as many minutes per day reading books as children at the 50th percentile.
  • Only 45 percent of fourth graders report that they read for fun on a daily basis. Among eighth graders, only 19 percent report daily reading for fun.
  • From 1983 to 1999, over 10 million Americans reached the 12th grade without having learned to read at a basic level. In the same period, over 6 million Americans dropped out of high school.
  • Forty million adults in the U.S. can’t read well enough to read a simple story to a child.

Categories: Needle and ThREAD

2 replies »

  1. And, Jen, can I climb onto the limb next to you and add these comments: children have no fear unless you impart yours to them and they have much better eyesight that we adults do. So don’t think they’re too young or they need large fabric. Just let them hold the fabric and stitch away. Praise them for what they do stitch. You can teach them the finer points on project 2, 3, 4 or 5. My grand daughter was stitching counted work at age 5 without any help from adults. She was working over 2 threads at age 10. Course, she had an addicted mother and grandmother!

  2. I agree. I suggest letting kids choose their fabric based on what they like, not what someone else considers “easier.” More than anything, a new stitcher must like what s/he is stitching, so personal preference trumps everything.

    Both of my nephews learned cross stitch stitching over 2 on evenweave. No problem.