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See Mom read: New program strengthens parental bonds

Features Editor

When parents look for ways to spend quality time with their children, they need to look no farther than the book shelf.

Sharing a book together is a special time for parents and their children, especially if parents know how to turn story time into more than just reading words and turning pages. Then, story time will help develop a strong and lasting relationship between parents and their children.

Some parents may feel that they are not entertaining readers or some may feel their reading skills are inadequate.

For those parents, a special program is designed specifically to meet their needs and that program will be offered free of charge in Troy during the month of August.

The Troy Public Library is partnering with the Trojan Learning Center to offer reading and literacy classes for the parents of Pike County.

The Motheread/Fatheread program will offer four classes in August at the Trojan Learning Center. Classes will be from 5:30 until 7 p.m. each Tuesday of the month and child care will be provided.

Teresa Colvin, children’s librarian at TPL, said Motheread is a family reading and literacy program of the Alabama Humanities Foundation which uses a comprehensive approach to education.

"Motheread strengthens the patent/child relationship while helping parents to enhance their own reading skills," Colvin said. "The program teaches the ‘how’ of reading, not just the ‘why.’ The program also uses story sharing to increase critical thinking skills."

Colvin said some parents don’t know how to make a story interesting, how to personalize it or how to relate it to every day life.

"When reading a book to a child or with a child, parents need to know there is more to the book that what’s between the covers," Colvin said. "For instance, we will be reading The Patchwork Quilt

during the classes. The idea of the story is that one generation teaches the other. This story can be used to create interest in family heirlooms and traditions. It can also be used to introduce an activity, such as making a quilt pattern out of something as simple as construction paper."

Colvin said stories can be used an opening for parents to share favorite childhood memories or to discuss experiences the child has had.

When parents realize that a book can open many avenues for communication between them and their children, story time will become a foundation on which they can build relationships.

"The classes will also offer instruction for parents whose reading skills need to be developed so story time can be a very positive experience for them and their children," Colvin said.

Instructors for the program will be Colvin and Vicki Schmidt, director of the Trojan Learning Center at Troy State University.

To register for the Motheread/Fatheread Program, call Colvin at 566-1314 or Schmidt at 670-3850.

Grants from Viburnum Foundation, Leapfrog School House and Motheread are provided founding from this program.