Growing, Laughing and Learning… |

Growing, Laughing and Learning…

Ruth Hall
Special to the Sun

TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. – Tahoe Truckee Unified School District and community partners invite parents and educators of children birth to 6 to attend the annual Child Development Conference May 5 at the TTUSD district office.  This year, in partnership with a new initiative in our community “Tahoe Truckee Reads,” there will be a special focus on literacy for young children.  All across the country, there is new recognition of the powerful role literacy and reading play in the success of children beginning at birth. Research shows that even at the age of 9 months, differences in development begin to show between children who have been in a language-rich environment and those who have not.

Across the nation, there are new efforts underway to support language-development and reading for our youngest children. The number of words children have heard by the time they are 3-years-old, along with the number of children’s books in the home, are linked to school readiness. Research shows the vocabulary children have developed by the time they enter kindergarten has a direct bearing on proficiency in reading by the end of the third grade. How children are doing in third grade correlates to how they will be doing in high school.

With this in mind, the Child Development Conference will have a strong focus on strategies for parents and educators for pre-literacy activities for young children.

Keynote speaker Dr. Kim Bateman, executive dean of Sierra College, will start the conference with a talk about the power of “The Oral Tradition.”  Other workshops at the conference focus on language development for infants, toddlers and preschoolers. There will be demonstrations in healthy nutrition and cooking that are tied in to children’s literature, showing how daily activities with children are opportunities to support reading and expand language and vocabulary in fun ways. We will also demonstrate this through art and science demos. Workshops include the roles of parents and teachers as partners in literacy as well as focused workshops for educators on best practices in expanding children’s language and learning. Other workshops include child behavior, “Mindful Parenting,” dual language-learning and more. 

In the life of children, the key role libraries play cannot be overemphasized. Make the library part of your child’s life by visiting often and attending programs such as story times and the winter and summer reading programs. Set the example for children by having them see you read. When they are young, read to your children every day and, as they grow, consider turning off the TV for a special family reading time each evening.

For more information on the conference and registration contact Ruth J. Hall 530-582-2583 or

– Ruth Hall is president of The Friends of the Truckee Library

Support Local Journalism

Your support means a better informed community.