We can’t say enough about childhood literacy. Skillful, natural reading really is the key to success in any field of endeavor. If your child is especially perceptive, he or she may receive the building blocks of literacy from children’s television programming, and learn the finer points in kindergarten and beyond, with no difficulty. But this is not a thing to hedge your bets on. It’s all hands on deck, battle stations, let’s get these rugrats into words.
It just so happens that the Portland Public Library is a valuable ally. They have an ongoing program for kids aged three to six called Every Child Ready to Read @ Your Library. It’s actually a registered trademark, and the sub-program, Singing Through Your Day, is backed by current research and knowledge. Specifically, that singing out loud does several things, among them, helping children hear the distinct sounds that make up words, teaching new vocabulary, and introducing new ideas and concepts, which is of course a concise description of the magic of reading itself. PPL introduces you to two musicians this week who are part of the program.
First, it’s Rob Duquette with his Concert of World Music Rhythm, on Thursday, June 8 at 10:30 a.m. Mr. Duquette is a classically trained, gigging percussionist who teaches World Music, African Drumming, and American Popular Music at the University of New England. In practice with children, he brings a culturally rich presentation of world music styles and the percussion at the heart of them, demonstrating that the meaning of other countries’ and continents’ musical styles have great significance to us, as well. And it’s fun!
Next, join Amanda Panda, homeschooler and director of Little Roots, the early childhood music education program at 317 Main Community Music Center in Yarmouth, at PPL on Tuesday, June 13 at 10:30 a.m. She presents a menu of feel-good songs with themes of animals, nature, kindness and more. In case you’re wondering how dedicated she is to introducing kids to music, she also founded Music and Magic Maine, an organization that puts instruments into the hands of children at no cost. We feel good recommending her.
So get ready to sing with your kids in the car, at story time, during journeys on foot, and everywhere. You’re helping them more than you know.