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Reading with your child inspires imagination, sparks creativity, and cultivates engaging conversations. More than anything, it provides a strong foundation for increasing vocabulary, developing literacy skills, and making personal connections to a text.
From the magical realm of Hogwarts to the dusty wagons on the Oregon Trail, reading takes you and your child on an adventure to worlds beyond compare. Carve out 10 to 15 minutes of your busy schedule to spend time engaged in a book with your child – you both won’t regret it!
Here are our book recommendations from two former teachers and George W. Bush Institute education experts, Anne Wicks, Director of Education Reform and Eva Chiang, Director of Research and Evaluation
The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak – This book delights kids by “forcing” the adult reader to say all the silly words written on the pages.
Pete the Cat and the Cool Cat Boogie by James and Kimberly Dean – In this book, Pete learns to just keep dancing even when others say he does it wrong. Kids love to root for Pete!
Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss – A well-known and loved classic for a reason, this book helps preschoolers develop early literacy skills with rhymes and repetition.
Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein: This book invites fun and interactive reading aloud as Papa Chicken and his daughter try to read bedtime stories together.
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka: In this story, readers get to hear an old tale told from the perspective of the “bad guy”—the wolf. It provides a great chance to talk about empathy, hearing others out, and being open minded.
Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems: A child loses his beloved Knuffle Bunny, only to be reunited later. Young readers are reminded of the importance of caring for your things, while parents are reminded just how short childhood is.
Curious about reading scores in your city? Find out more by visiting State of Our Cities and compare education data on 114 cities across the United States.
Anne Wicks, the Ann Kimball Johnson Director of the Education Reform Initiative, develops and oversees the policy, research, and engagement work of the Education Reform team. Before joining the Bush Institute, Wicks served as an Associate Dean at the University of Southern California's Rossier School of Education where she lead a team with revenue, communications, and engagement goals. Additionally, she supported Dean Karen Symms Gallagher on a variety of special projects including the launch and early growth of Ednovate Charter Schools. She currently serves as the chair of PMC Support, a supporting organization for Ednovate Schools, and she serves as a board member for Dallas Afterschool. Over her career, she has held management roles at organizations including Teach for America, the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health, and Stanford University.
Anne holds a B.A in American Studies and a M.A. in Education from Stanford University (during which she taught 8th grade social studies), as well as a M.B.A. from the University of Southern California. A former captain of Stanford's women's volleyball team, Anne was part of three national championship teams, two as a player and one as an assistant coach.Full Bio
Eva Myrick Chiang, serves as Director of Evaluation and Research for the Bush Institute. She also works on the School Leadership Initiative and provides support in other areas of the education reform initiative as well.
Prior to joining the George W. Bush Institute, she taught pre-k through college level students in a variety of teaching roles in private, public, and charter schools, and her passion is teaching students to read. She has been a trainer of teachers, and most recently she held the position of Director of Education in the central administration office of an urban charter school.
Eva received her undergraduate degree from Baylor University, and received a master's in teaching with an emphasis on reading education from Texas Woman's University. Eva also earned her law degree from Texas A&M School of Law in Fort Worth. She is currently finishing her doctorate from Southern Methodist University.Full Bio
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