We're right in the middle of Read Early, Read Often Week. Read Early, Read Often is a countywide program run by the Muskegon Area Intermediate School District and the goal is simple...read to kids, every day and help them expand their vocabulary and word bank before they reach kindergarten to help them be as ready as possible for the education they will be facing for the next 12 years. It begins even before the child is born according to some, reading to a baby in the womb might seem pointless, but they hear the voice and that lifelong bond begins even before the big entrance is made. Reading is essential for everything in life and the sooner you begin reading with your child and the more consistent you are with the practice, the better advantage they will have.
Now, it's always an ongoing effort to get the word out about Read Early, Read Often, after all life is busy and there is just so much data coming at everyone all the time. How do you know what's going on where and when and why etc? So....why not bring the Reading to the masses? Where better to find the masses than where they go anyway? Read Early, Read Often hits churches, festivals, vendor events and more. But as they were thinking about it, why not try something out of the box and really find people where they are...the laundromat.
Suds of West Michigan was the host today. Suds is located on Sanford Street in Muskegon Heights and if you've ever been to a laundromat with a kid..you know that it's less than an ideal place for them. It's one of those necessities, but the time it takes to wash and dry seems like an eternity to a little one....so... read! Read Early, Read Often was on hand to not only provide free books and activities for the kids, they had a huge display of all of the other great things they do and offer to encourage reading! Still not enough, Suds offered free drying time to those who came in to participate as an incentive....so everyone got a little something.
I met up with Allison Keeson who's the Read Early, Read Often coordinator for the MAISD also Andrea Jonaitis owner of Suds and Kristy Wyngaarden and Robin Dennany who are both involved with the Read Early, Read Often outreach. Take a listen.
There are still plenty of things to do in Read Early, Read Often Week! If you click on the event calendar below, it will take you to a bigger version that's much more easily read so you can find out how to get involved! It's an awesome outreach of the MAISD to work so hard to get books in the hands of parents and young readers. Stop out to one of their events and see!