Back in the 1970's, educators started to note that children's literacy skills were weaker following the summer months. Teachers found that kids slowed or stopped reading in the summer, opting instead to watch TV. This lead to struggles in the fall when children returned to school, especially elementary students.
Educators and librarians started developing summer reading programs, often incentivized programs that encourage children to read. To tap into the burgeoning market of young viewers, educational television producers began developing shows that were both fun and informative, such as The Electric Company, Sesame Street, and of course, Reading Rainbow.
These television programs incorporated visualizations that made stories come to life while developing children's love of words, narratives, and the desire to learn more. The fact we can reference these shows, some 20-50 years later, illustrates their positive impact.
Today, parents, librarians, and educators face a similar struggle: where once TV was king, we now have the internet, smart devices, and the concept of "Screen Time".
Studies are underway across many industries to best determine when and how to introduce screen time to children. The American Academy of Pediatrics, for example, "calls for no screen time at all for children until 18 to 24 months, except for video chatting, and says kids ages 2 to 5 should get an hour or less of screen time per day." What Do We Really Know About Kids and Screens, www.APA.org.
So, once we as parents decide it's time to introduce screen time, the question becomes how to encourage children and teens to read books, when so many of us have migrated to eBooks? Enter the Tumblebook Library.
TumbleBooks was created as an educational resource for parents, guardians, and educators who want to encourage the use of technology while also building core competencies such as literacy and comprehension. Each book is read aloud as the text streams across the screen. You may select to turn off the audio, letting children read the stories aloud. Children will also learn how to navigate a website by searching topics and keywords to find age appropriate stories with interactive buttons, animated illustrations, and videos.
Tweens will enjoy the graphic novel collection featuring tales by famous authors and illustrators you already know and love. Tumblebooks also has a collection of subject-based videos that are similar in production to those fun, informative, and bite-sized shorts we watched on PBS.
There is no sign-up or password required, no login needed! Follow the link on our website to discover over 250 animated, talking picture books and more than 1100 titles in English, French, and Spanish.
We are thrilled to share our subscription to TumbleBooks so your family can access this unlimited, kid-friendly service!
Click Here for Tumblebooks Library Access