The Community Partnership’s Early Care and Education program has been celebrating Read Aloud Month in March. Part of the celebration included the production of a video featuring a group of Phelps County residents reading Pete the Cat – I Love My White Shoes by author Eric Litwin.
“We thought it would be fun to get some Phelps County readers and singers to help us spread the word about the importance of reading aloud,” explained Martha Edwards, the Partnership’s communications director.
“I grabbed a video recorder and drove around Phelps County asking people if they’d read a page from the book and help us get people excited about reading aloud to kids. To be honest, I was surprised at how eager people were to participate. No one refused!”
The video features Rolla police chief Sean Fagan; children at Keeney’s Early Learning Center in St. James; Sgt. First Class Jonathan Lawson, a U.S. Army recruiter; Judge Mary Sheffield; attorney Tom Thomas; Phelps County Bank Sr. Vice President Wendy Young; Missouri S&T professor Jeff Cawlfield; Rolla City Administrator John Butz; youngsters at All God’s Children daycare; TCP board member Dottye Wolf; Kassie Nenninger, personal banker at Town and Country Bank; international students in the Intensive English Program at Missouri S&T; fourth grader Wesley Stamm; TCP’s Young Parents coordinator Sammie Goodson; and Jean Darnell, TCP’s executive director.
“We also have a special appearance by two local performers who were very willing to share their talent. TCP board member Tom Manion and St. Patrick’s School principal Mike Brooks really went above and beyond for their part of the video,” said Edwards. “You have to see it to believe it!”
The Partnership’s Early Care and Education director, Kathy Taber, said that despite widespread agreement among parents that reading aloud has an “extremely positive” impact on brain development, a new survey conducted by YouGov for the non-profit Read Aloud 15 MINUTES also found that fewer than half of parents (46%) read aloud with their children every day, and only 34% do so for at least 15 minutes.
“That’s why it’s so important to get the word out about reading aloud,” she said. “When daily reading aloud becomes the standard in caregiving nationwide, there will be a drastic change in school readiness. We want to encourage parents, especially new parents, to start as early as possible reading aloud to their child.”
To view The Community Partnership’s video “Phelps County, MO reads Pete the Cat,” you can find it on their website home page at www.thecommunitypartnership.org, or on their youtube channel at thepartnership1.
The Community Partnership is a non-profit organization located in Rolla, serving children and families via a variety of helping programs, including Capable Kids and Families®, Young Parents Program, Early Care and Education, Independent Living Program, and the Linking Hearts Adoption Event. The Partnership also operates a Resale Shop.