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The idea behind the Ozarks Family Voices project is to give the child a personalized audio library so they learn to develop literacy at an early age. KSMU’s Samuel Crowe has this report on just how much of an impact pre-recorded storytelling can have on young minds.
Ozarks Family Voices is a local literacy program aimed at helping children under the age of five learn how to read. They do this by recording parents reading stories to their kids, and then putting that recording on a CD with 25 other pre-recorded stories. The free CD is then given to the parents.
Despite numerous electronic gadgets and television programs available to kids these days, David Harrison, chairman for Ozarks Family Voices, says there is no substitute for reading to a child.
“Because that’s how children learn vocabulary, the flow of language, the way it sounds. They explore the world from the lap of a mom or a dad, a big sister or big brother or a grandparent, so that by the time they reach kindergarten or even pre-kindergarten age, they are better prepared to learn,” Harrison said.
He says there is a special bonding that occurs when a family member sits down with a child and reads to them. But with busy adult lifestyles, Harrison says this isn’t always possible. So that’s where the CD library comes in, giving the child a chance to improve their literacy skills even without someone there to read to them.
“To have a CD that someone can just play, and let the youngster listen, is a whole lot better than watching TV the whole time or finding some other activity,” Harrison said.
Ozarks Family Voices launched a new website this week, which gives parents the chance to download the pre-recorded stories for free, and to get more information on the program.
For KSMU News, I’m Samuel Crowe.