The teachers in Ohio's public charter schools are not just certified teachers, they are involved and dedicated to their students. Here are some tips from a teacher about the importance of reading:

You’ve heard it before, but did you know reading to your children past their preschool years is just as important as giving them those first books when they are infants and toddlers?  Reading aloud introduces kids to new vocabulary, helps them work with and organize multiple pieces of information, introduces them to new ideas, encourages them to use imagination, supports thinking skills and so much more.

Reading aloud doesn’t have to be done by the adults in the house or classroom setting.  Getting other family members, helpers and students involved can be fun and can offer the reader and listeners new ways of learning.  Reading books full of brightly colored illustrations is not the only way to go, either (although kids of all ages can enjoy them).  Chapter books allow our children to imagine characters and plots in their minds.  Informational books allow them to better understand the world around them.  Books of poetry allow kids to hear how words can rhyme, sound like music and convey messages in very different ways.

Asking questions about what is being read is just as important as reading the material itself.  Talk about character issues. Discuss unfamiliar words.  Build on interests gained during reading about a certain subject.  Offer your own reactions and opinions.  Ask for theirs.  Be their role model for reading and help them catch the reading bug.

Below are several sites dedicated to reading and storytelling.  These would be great places to send kids to engage them in storytelling and reading.

  • Storyline (actors reading picture books aloud)

  • Pic Lits (taking a picture and creating a story from it)

  • Storybird (reading kid-created stories and creating their own)

  • Shidonni (creating a character drawing and animating it into a story format)