Children's Library Corner
Every Thursday morning JTC’s Preschool children and their families arrive at the Childrens’ Library with their cards in hand, ready to listen to a story and check out new books for the week. The new library, a project of Friends of John Tracy Clinic, the new Alumni Association, provides an opportunity for our children to build their listening, language, and literacy skills, on their path to become lifelong readers.
Research has shown that listening and reading affect the same part of the brain, which is why educators now agree that the best chances for children with hearing loss to learn how to read is to ensure that they have a rich spoken language experience during infancy. As every parent knows, reading out loud to our children every day is also a bonding experience and fosters conversation, creative thinking and emotional development in the child. “Even when children have mastered reading on their own,” says Cat Mathes, assistant director of the Preschool, “they still benefit from more complex stories and the sound of their parent’s voice.”
The new library helps fill the Educational Services Department’s objective to stress the importance of literacy development in children with hearing loss and their families. Thanks to hundreds of volumes donated by volunteers and staff, children are exposed to a variety of their favorite stories from classics like The Little Prince to action like Spiderman.
Recent developments have had a considerable impact on the library’s recent growth. Last summer, Zahra Dowlatabadi and her daughter, Emily, attended the John Tracy Clinic Summer Picnic as part of Bookends, an organization that recycles children’s books through student-run book drives and places them in schools and youth organizations. Bookends donated dozens books to the new JTC Children’s Library.
After seeing the new library, Emily decided that she wanted to return in the Fall to read to the pre-school kids. On October 9th, Emily and her friend, Riquel, donned capes and read to JTC pre-schoolers during library time. Emily and Riquel, members of a new group called Superreaders, have embraced the need for children to fall in love with literacy.
On January 9, Travis Custer, along with family guests and members and leaders of Boy Scout Troop 622 from Simi Valley, CA, delivered over 2,000 books they collected for the new Preschool Library. The boys and their scout masters sorted, stacked the books and spend time reading with the children.
The new library helps fill the Educational Services Department’s objective to stress the importance of literacy in children with hearing loss and their families. Travis chose this project to fulfill his Eagle Scout Badge, the highest achievement award in the Boy Scout program.
Says, Cat, “Today’s deaf and hard of hearing children have better potential for literacy than ever before. Thanks to advances in early detection and amplification, they can distinguish a far greater range of rhythm, rhyme and syllable sounds.”
Her recommendations for parents include:
Make sure reading isn’t just a passive activity for toddlers. Join in the fun, give your child a turn and watch what happens!
Have fun! Instill in your child a love of books!
JTC teachers are always looking for volunteers to read out loud to our preschool children during library time as part of our listening and reading readiness curriculum. Please email us for guidelines and scheduling information.