On the wings of words

Community Columnist

From thinking it, to making it so; in the beginning there was the word.

We live our lives by what we say and how we say it, but in order to record and organize these thoughts we must be taught the word; it doesn’t embrace us independently through some sort of natural maturation.

The human animal has to learn to sit before crawling, learn to stand before walking and learn to run before sprinting. Only then can we tag up from third on a long fly ball or lead the charge during an exhilarating three-on-two fast break.

Likewise, reading and writing, from reciting the alphabet to seeing Spot run, begins at the sitting and crawling stage before ever daring to tangle with the wind.

Promoting a program designed by the American Library Association, Cazenovia Public Library Director Betsy Kennedy will be presenting “Every Child Ready to Read” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 29, in Cazenovia Children’s House.

The parent education initiative stresses the essential role of the primary family in the importance of supporting early literacy in a child’s life. The free one-hour presentation is open to the public.

Educator Elaine Weitzman believes children with rich vocabularies have an enormous educational advantage.

“Building vocabulary in early childhood settings must therefore be a priority if children are to have the foundation they need to succeed at school,” Weitzman said. “The adults in a child’s life play a significant role in helping children build a deeper understanding of words. The more words children know, the more information they have. The more information they have, the better their understanding of the world and the easier it is for them to learn new words.”

However, the focus of early literacy tends to blur after the ABCs and picture books. As the years go by, our verbal appetites vary greatly, because we’ve allowed ourselves the misguided freedom to curtail the teaching and learning process of our communication skills.

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