Weekly message from Governor LePage

03 Feb 2016 9:38 AM | Deleted user

 The weekly message is available via the Office of the Governor website http://www.maine.gov/governor/lepage/news/radio_addresses/index.shtml.

Read to ME Challenge - A Special Message from the First Lady

We all recall sitting on our parents lap having a story read to us. It’s moments like these that need to take place every day in a child’s life.

Hello, this is First Lady Ann LePage.

The Governor and I are pleased to be a part of the Read to ME Challenge that is underway across the state. The benefits of reading with a child are endless. Reading is a gift, reading builds foundations and reading changes lives. Curiosity, creativity and imagination are all developed through reading.

Research shows that the more words parents use when speaking to an 8-month-old infant, the greater the size of their child's vocabulary by the time that child is 3. This sets the stage for reading to be an enjoyable, lifelong activity, and it gives the opportunity to build knowledge of the world.

The month-long Read to ME Challenge simply asks you to read aloud with a child for just 15 minutes, capture that on video or in a picture, post it on social media and challenge others to do the same.

Did you know that reading for just 15 minutes every day, for 5 years, exposes children to 456 hours of reading? Reading to children stimulates brain development.  It helps them learn to talk and to listen, grows their vocabulary, helps build their attention spans, and encourages them to ask questions.

Keep reading to children even after they start reading themselves because it provides an opportunity for them to learn about topics and to experience stories beyond what they can read on their own. Even if parents can’t read to their children, listen to books on tape together so you all can experience magical adventures while spending time bonding.  

What a great gift to have a little one nestled on your lap or beside you enjoy a book together, and what an even greater gift you are giving that child by building a trust, a love, and a dedication to that child’s well-being while investing in their future success, just by reading.

I will forever cherish the moments I had reading with my children, and I encourage you to appreciate these same moments. Take the Read to ME Challenge today and challenge others to do the same.

Our children are our future, so let’s invest today in that future by reading aloud with a child. Happy Reading!

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