Washington, May 11 : Childhood memories surrounding nursery rhymes and picture books not just revolve around mothers, for fathers also play an equally important role in kids' literacy, according to an expert.
Sharon Darling, president and founder of the National Center for Family Literacy, said children look to both parents as role models. If they don't see parents reading for pleasure and for purpose, then they are less likely to view reading as a pleasurable experience.
In addition, if they want to spend time with their dad and he doesn't feel comfortable as a teacher or reading them stories, then either they spend less time with dad or they don't read as often.
NCFL, which has trained more than 1 million educators and volunteers across the United States, has recommendations on reading and other literacy activities that don't have to be expensive or time-consuming. They can be built into your everyday routine.
"Spending time together and learning as a family can be a simple, inexpensive and easy activity. It just requires a little time, imagination and creativity," said Darling.
"The rewards are long-lasting for the family and have a long-term impact on the child's academic success.
"When we conduct workshops for parents, they consistently say the sessions reminded them of the importance of family time. Too often, parents are unable to spend joint time with their children but appreciate how special it is to be together as a family," she added. s Father's Day approaches, NCFL has offered the following tips for fathers and families on how to teach their child by using the world around them and maximize time spent reading together - teach math skills by letting your child count the money to pay at the store; ask children to find the letters of their name use signs along the street and on buildings; increase oral language skills by sharing stories of your childhood; and make science come alive at home by checking out science experiment books from the library and then trying simple experiments at home.
NCFL also recommends tying reading into an outing and using certain techniques for reading that have been proven to increase effectiveness in reading time, including making sound effects to capture their attention and change your voice when different characters speak.
Many of these recommendations are an outgrowth of a program created through a partnership with McDonald's and NCFL called Family Mealtime Literacy Nights.
"The program also demonstrates that parents can and should learn how to have important conversations around the dinner table - educational conversations that also strengthen family bonds," Darling said.