Along with Go Mighty, I’ve partnered with Next Generation and the Clinton Foundation to sponsor this post as part of the Too Small to Fail campaign. Together, we’re working to close The Word Gap that affects far too many young children.
If you want to combat the insidious word gap in your family or your community: Read to a child! Reading, singing, talking, telling stories, and asking questions while looking at each other make the difference for our children. Acknowledging that, my approach to this goal may seem unorthodox.
My brother, Phil, is ten years younger than me so I can remember reading to him when he was a baby and little kid. One book in particular sticks out in my memory: The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss. There were a few years in my teens when I had nearly the entire book memorized from reading it so much.
Now that he’s a father, I can’t wait to scoop up his son and read that cherished book to him. Unfortunately, I live about 2500 miles away from Baby J so it doesn’t happen nearly as often as I’d like.
Though I still plan to stock J’s library with my take on the classics, I created a seven-minute video of me reading The Cat in the Hat so he can hear the story whenever he wants. A video is no substitute for direct eye contact and reading together, but it is a great answer to the occasional pleas of, “Again! Again!”.
Here’s an excerpt of my video to Baby J.
Don’t worry, my little one-year old nephew has access to the full story and a commitment that I will do my best to read the book in real life as often as he wants. Even if he calls, “Again! Again! Again!” Especially then.