All eyes were on NBC 5 News Anchor Deborah Ferguson as she read ”Doc McStuffins: Mobile Clinic” to a roomful of children at the March 6 Wild About Reading event. About 1,500 children and parents from more than a dozen organizations filled the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, where United Way and its partners distributed snack packs and 3,000 free books. Families signed up for library cards and received handouts listing activities they could do at home when reading their new books.
In addition to Deborah Ferguson, the lineup of storytime readers included David Coble, Executive Assistant Chief of the Fort Worth Fire Department; TCU athletes and Olympic candidates Ronnie Baker and Briana McGee; HEB ISD Instructional Specialist Kim Neill; and Bill Wempe, Executive Director of Graduate Programs and Associate Professor of Accounting at the TCU Neeley School of Business.
“Wild about Reading” is part of United Way of Tarrant County’s 10-year “Learn Well” education initiative. The annual event fosters a love of reading and promotes the importance of reading to succeed in school and in life. Sixty percent of Tarrant County students do not meet 3rd grade reading standards, according to the Center for Public Policy Priorities Texas Education Scorecard.
Lead sponsors of this year’s event were United Way, Educational First Steps, the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, and Atmos Energy. Other event partners were:
- Arlington Public Library
- Big Brothers Big Sisters
- Birdville Independent School District
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Arlington, Inc.
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Fort Worth
- Camp Fire First Texas
- Cassata High School
- Center for Transforming Lives
- Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce
- Fort Worth Independent School District
- Fort Worth Library
- Foundation Communities
- Girl Scouts of Texas Oklahoma Plains
- Haltom City Library
- YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth
Reading Tips for You and the Little Readers in Your Life
(Source: Reading Rockets)
- Read to your child every day.
- Build your child’s vocabulary by talking about interesting words and objects.
- Tell your child how much you enjoy reading with him or her. Talk about “story time” as the favorite part of your day.
- Read to your child with humor and expression. Use different voices. Ham it up!
- Put the book away for a while if your child loses interest or is having trouble paying attention.
- Discuss what’s happening in the book, point out things on the page, and ask questions.
- Go ahead and read your child’s favorite book for the 100th time!
- Mention to your child how we read from left to right and how words are separated by spaces.
- Talk about the written words you see in the world around you.
- Please be sure to see your child’s pediatrician or teacher as soon as possible if you have concerns about your child’s language development, hearing, or sight.