Some with energetic children they would like to keep engaged and others with the hope of increasing imagination, parents and preschool teachers attended the Missouri Humanities Council's Read From the Start program Aug. 2 at St. Paul's Lutheran Church.
An early childhood educator for more than 30 years, Angie Wendt, Prairie Home, led the workshop for about two dozen adults, while the children watched a movie in another room.
"This is a great opportunity to get families reading to their children," Wendt said. "I'm amazed at how many young families don't realize libraries are still going strong.
"We want to get books in their hands."
Wendt had six main points, which she emphasized using each of the five books sent home went participants. She told parents, grandparents and teachers the goals of reading with little ones are to develop: a love of reading, listening skills, print awareness, letter knowledge, language and vocabulary, and narrative skills.
Reading to children and allowing them to interact with the printed material should start at birth, she said.
The workshop provided the following books: "Good Night Moon" by Margaret Brown, "Mouse Count" by Ellen Walsh, "Black on White" by Tana Hoban, "A Chair for My Mother" by Vera Williams, and "Gregory, the Terrible Eater" by Mitchell Sharmat.
Wendt shared activity ideas corresponding to each book.
For example, talking about the value of setting routines related to "Good Night Moon" or making up stories about objects around the house related to "Black on White."
Inside each book is a sticker with other activity suggestion specific to that book. And Wendt sent participants home with hand-outs with more in-depth information about various points of reading importance.
Those who attended Wednesday night ranged from teenagers who work with toddlers to grandparents. Their reasons for being there included learning how to read aloud with better inflection, encouraging a love of reading, reducing technology use, reading to infants and engaging highly-active youngsters.
"I love getting books into children's hands," Wendt said.
The Read from the Start program free and available to communities, when an organization, like the St. Paul's Lutheran Church Preschool, hosts the workshop.