Across the Street column: Get your kids started reading at your library |

Across the Street column: Get your kids started reading at your library

Joyce Rankin
Larry Laszlo


Have you visited your local library lately? If you haven’t, you may want to check out some of the many things you can do there. Besides great books, movies, music, internet and computer access, you will find lists of news, activities and community events posted in many of our local libraries. In some areas of Colorado, libraries are community centers. They host community events and lectures.

You can also visit libraries online. I recently connected online with my local library and found a link to a site where a viewer can input a favorite author and find recommended similar authors and suggested books. In many cases, this is based on people checking out books throughout the library system. It’s a lot like movie rental stores of the past where you could put in the name of a movie, and the computer screen suggested other movies that you might like “If you like this movie, you may like….”

Children’s books may also be organized similarly. The books are usually grouped by age or grade level. First-graders get excited about any book they can read, but as students progress, they tend to select books with topics having a more personal interest. You can find, for example, the most popular books currently being read by sixth-graders.

Reading. It’s the most important subject taught in school. If you can’t read well, your chances of success in life are significantly reduced. The most important thing a parent can do is to read to their child, and this hasn’t changed. But now the systematic, scientific approach or scope and sequence of learning to teach children how to read has been proven to be more successful. So what does this mean to our public school students, adults, parents, grandparents and anyone interested in reading?

Senate Bill 19-199 Reading to Ensure Academic Development — or the READ Act — requires that kindergarten to third-grade teachers use evidence-based practices of the science of teaching reading in their classrooms. The bill also provides for community members to be informed of the legislation and learn about some of the reading foundations included in the READ Act.

Beginning in August, when students return to their classrooms, I’ll be traveling throughout the 3rd Congressional District sharing the READ Act and what it means in your community. Watch the event board in your local library for details.

It continues to be an honor to serve on the State Board of Education representing the 3rd Congressional District.

Joyce Rankin is a member of the State Board of Education. The Department of Education is located across the street from the Capitol. “Across the Street” will appear monthly.

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