Get to know one of our talented librarians and learn why she believes read alouds are beneficial for literacy development.
Name: Amber Rountree, M.S., Ph.D.
Role: Librarian & Curator
How would you describe your role at Novel Effect?
I get to select the books and watch the composer team work their magic to bring them to life!
What was your favorite book as a kid?
I loved reading The Jolly Postman, by Allan Ahlberg.
What are your favorite stories to read with Novel Effect?
We have too many favorites to name in our house, but I love reading All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon at bedtime to my boys and I think our team of soundscape designers really knocked it out of the park with his work on Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport.
Why are read alouds so important? What are the benefits for kids?
Read alouds bring books to life for kids at all stages of literacy development! While read alouds allow the youngest readers who aren’t yet reading the ability to access text, read alouds are beneficial for engagement for older children who are already reading to increase prosody (reading with appropriate inflection) and as windows/mirrors to allow them to build understanding about themselves and about those who may be different from them.
What is your advice for parents, teachers, or librarians to help get kids more excited about reading?
Autonomy and reading motivation are closely linked–give children the opportunity to choose the books they are interested in and build on their funds of knowledge! Embrace re-reading; multiple readings of the same text allow children to notice different aspects of the writing style, illustrations and provide opportunities for more in depth questioning to build deeper comprehension.
What or who encouraged you to pursue a career in education and library sciences?
I come from a long line of educators and like to say teaching is in my DNA; my great-grandfather was a superintendent, one of my grandmothers was my 4th grade teacher and my other grandmother was a school bus driver. My high school librarian was one of my favorite teachers throughout my high school career and all of the librarians I worked with as a library page in high school inspired me to pursue the intersection of library science and education! My desire to want to learn more about literacy development and education policy led to my pursuit of a B.S. in Child & Family Studies, a M.S. in Library & Information Sciences, and a Ph.D. in Education.