/Campaign offers prizes to parents who read with their kids
Health unit nurse Shelley Shaughnessy holding up a special children’s bib being given out to promote the #ReadWithMe campaign. /Submitted

Campaign offers prizes to parents who read with their kids

Published May 15 2018

Discover a rewards program…no purchase is required. The #ReadWithMe campaign is designed to “reward” parents/caregivers who read with their children during Speech and Hearing Month in May. Local families can win prizes by posting pictures online of themselves reading to their young child. The #ReadWithMe campaign is also intended to engage parents in a discussion about reading with their child and provide ideas on how to incorporate reading into everyday life.

The Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit and Peterborough Public Health are teaming up with local vlogger Michelle Ferreri (www.michelleferreri.com) to promote #ReadWithMe. Full details about the #ReadWithMe campaign and how to take part are available on Kid Talk (www.kidtalk.on.ca) – a website run by the local preschool speech and language program that offers many resources tips and other supports for families.

“There are many rewards when you read with your child each day” says Shelley Shaughnessy a public health nurse with the HKPR District Health Unit. “Reading together allows you to spend quality time as a family while helping to improve your child’s speech and language skills. The #ReadWithMe campaign is like icing on the cake because it gives you added incentive to read engage with other families and win prizes.”

#ReadWithMe is being promoted to families through select libraries and EarlyON Child and Family Centres in Northumberland County Haliburton County and the City of Kawartha Lakes. Special children’s bibs with #ReadOnMe and the Kid Talk website are also available on request at these sites.

To encourage reading with a child Shaughnessy says it is important to choose an age-appropriate book. Books with repetitive and rhyming text as well as plenty of pictures and interactive features such as holes or flaps for lifting can be a hit with older toddlers and pre-schoolers. For older children who are less inclined to read choose a story with an exciting plot that will grab their attention and make them want to read.

Another way to promote literacy is to recognize how reading and writing show up in everyday activities. Shaughnessy points to grocery shopping as an example. “Get your child to help you write a grocery list then look for letters or words on signs in the supermarket and shout out the names of the items you find. You can also read the labels on the foods you buy with children and get them to help you sort the groceries when you get home” she says.