We believe that every child is unique and amazing, with an innate curiosity of the world and a gift for communicating. Every child deserves love and attention and a place where books and writing are playful and exciting explorations.
Ideally, our reading lives can start in the cradle; tiny babies can be introduced to the pleasure of books and language by the adults in their life. It has long been known that the one thing that nearly all good readers and writers have in common is that they were read to as children. As they grow, they can continue to see stories and books as a normal part of play and investigation, a time to relax and cuddle with family, sing along with a favorite songbook, laugh at remembered pages and characters, and pore over pictures making new discoveries
We also believe that writing and art are part of raising readers, and encourage parents and teachers to have crayons, markers, pads of paper, and notebooks available as well as blocks and other toys. Literacy skills develop naturally when children are surrounded by books and writing and are encouraged to see using written language as normal activities that they take part in, whether it’s making shopping lists, writing letters or cards to friends, or reading recipes, books-even junk mail!–with you. Having writing materials available at all times and encouraging kids to scribble, invent stories, and draw pictures helps children appreciate at a very early age the power of the written word.
Raising young children to be readers and writers means providing an environment rich in language, respecting their communication attempts, and being prepared to be awed by each child’s capabilities.
For a more complete statement of what we believe, we suggest you take a look at the website for the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
You can learn more about the academic research base of our philosophy in this extended essay.