Do you know that November 12th is the start of National Young Readers Week? Susquehanna is dedicated to furthering the cause of literacy, and does so through its Mind Your Pennies events. Mind Your Pennies is an interactive story time Susquehanna offers to local libraries over the summer months. The program’s goal is to begin teaching young children about saving, while also encouraging reading as a healthy habit. In honor of National Young Readers Week, which promotes literacy and a love of reading in elementary-age kids, I recently took some of the selections home for a test drive with my own young children.
The Berenstain Bears make an appearance in two of the titles used in the program, Trouble with Money, and Dollars and Sense, by Stan and Jan Berenstain. The familiar characters got my kids’ attention right away. Reading about the cubs’ amusing pitfalls regarding their spending habits, plus the fun introduction of literary terms like “figure of speech” made these a hit at my house.
For younger kids, there is a picture book by Marilyn Sadler called Money, Money, Honey Bunny. This one made my daughter giggle with its silly rhymes, and gave us a chance to talk about sharing what we have, as well as saving.
Then there is Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday, by Judith Viorst. The main character is the same protagonist from Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good Very Bad Day, and here he learns just how hard it is to save your money, even when you have the best intentions. As our hero explains how he spent his dollar, nickel by nickel, my kids and I had numerous opportunities to discuss what he could have done differently to avoid ending up with “just…bus tokens.”
Any teacher of young children will tell you that reading with kids and allowing them to re-read a favorite book many times helps develop not only literacy skills, but also fluency and a love of reading. These four books demonstrated this as I read them with my kids – when I finally packed them up to bring them back to work, my son wistfully said “I wish these were ours, Mommy.” Hmm, perhaps we need to save some pennies ourselves, to make his wish come true!
A list other titles used and recommended through the Mind Your Pennies program can be found here.
What books do you enjoy reading over and over with your kids?