Children's Center Recruiting Readers

Children's Center Recruiting Readers
Vice President of Student Affais Doug Freer reads aloud at the Children's Center.
Maria-Lisa Flemington helps some preschoolers find their inner-princess.

Do you have a favorite book from childhood? Maybe that book starred a wild thing, a giving tree or a cat in a hat. Now is a perfect time to share those priceless tales with Cal Poly Pomona's youngest students.

The Children's Center is once again recruiting volunteers to read aloud to eager listeners from Oct. 16 – Nov. 30.

The First Steps to Reading program, which is made possible by a grant from the Los Angeles Times Family Holiday Fund Campaign, exposes children to reading at a young age to nourish their listening, comprehension, speaking, reading and writing skills.

The Children's Center staff encourages volunteers to read their favorite children's book or choose a book from their large collection.

Volunteers are needed to read to one of four classrooms. Readings are Tuesday through Friday from 8:45 a.m. until 9:30 a.m and in the afternoon from 12:45 p.m. until 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. until 4 p.m.

If the time slots fill up, or you can't participate this month, the program will be offered again in the spring and summer.

For more information contact Ronii Galarneau at vrgalarneau@asi.csupomona (909) 869-2284.

Hints for Reading Out Loud to Young Children

1. Love the book – Read it all through yourself before introducing it. Don't share a book you think is boring, because the children can tell. There are so many wonderful books available, select one you will enjoy reading. (Picture books work best, with only a few sentences on the page.)

2. Make sure they can see the book – Semicircles work, sityourself just slightly above them so that the children in the back row can see the pictures above the heads of others.

3. Start Quickly – Begin reading to the children as soon as possible. Younger children do not have a long attention span.  

4. Introduce the book – Before you begin to read, always say the name of the book, the author and illustrator no matter how many times you have read the book to the children.

5. Talk to them before you read – As you begin, discuss the illustration on the cover. Ask; “What do you think this is going to be about?”

6. Keep their attention – As you read, if you sense the children's attention drifting, gain them back. Ask; “What do you think will happen next?”

7. Read with expression – Use plenty of expression when reading, dramatic voices, pause, make your voice softer or louder speech, add some funny voices, don't be shy. The children won't remember that you sounded silly. They'll remember an interesting book.  

8. Don't be fooled by awards – Just because a book won an award doesn't guarantee that it will make a good read-aloud one. In most cases, a book award is given for the quality of writing, not for its read-aloud qualities.

9. Remember to pace yourself – Reading aloud comes naturally to very few people. To do it successfully and with ease you must practice.