May 3, 2009
Lowndes County schools are asking parents of incoming kindergartners to help their children learn Mother Goose nursery rhymes before August.
"Rhyme is one of the basic elements of phonemic awareness," Lowndes County School District Elementary Coordinator Bobbi Vaughn noted in a press release.
"In order for children to learn to read they have to be able to ''hear'' the language first," she wrote. "Repeated readings of traditional rhymes allow children to memorize basic structures and patterns in the English language and then put them together."
Because the rhymes are short, they are easy for children to repeat and commit to memory. Also, the rhymes expand vocabulary.
Being able to identify and produce rhyming words is foundational to reading, said Kelly Brown, a New Hope Elementary School kindergarten teacher. She also noted teaching nursery rhymes is one of the first units of instruction in kindergarten.
"Learning to read is the key element of education," said Joe W. York, NHES principal. "It is the foundation upon which all other learning takes place. The younger or earlier a child learns to read, the greater her chances of being successful in school and in a vocation."