ReadAskChat was developed with a rich understanding of the kinds of social, emotional, cognitive, and language-oriented experiences that brain science and education research confirms all children need to begin school ready to learn. ReadAskChat delivers a profound learning innovation that immerses families in a sustained process of dialogic reading by harnessing the power of parent-child bonding.
ReadAskChat is a learning system for parents as much as for children, who we expect will internalize the dialogic reading process along with their children.
Organizations integrating ReadAskChat into their initiatives supporting children and families receive our train-the-trainer guides and materials. The framework emphasizes the ReadAskChat guiding principles—most particularly our conviction that all parents and caregivers can make a significant contribution to their child’s education.
Training for parents/caregivers involves guided practice in interacting with ReadAskChat selections. Beginning with one of our charming wordless stories, parents see how the embedded conversation starters can empower them to engage their children in enjoyable back-and-forth conversation around meaning-rich artwork and text.
ReadAskChat has built in goals and reminders to incentivize parents to make reading with their children a daily activity. Metrics provide service professionals with data to customize follow-up guidance. These data will be useful in reporting to funders on the efficacy of their ReadAskChat implementation and the consequent child and adult learning.
For more information on our train-the-trainer framework, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The parent-mediated ReadAskChat learning system is fully compliant with the 2016 recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). See “Media and Young Minds.”
ReadAskChat is digital for the sole purpose of putting a critical mass of age-appropriate reading selections and high-quality artwork into the hands of families, wherever they are.
Smartphones and tablets are an effective delivery system so families of all backgrounds can have access a rich library of beautifully illustrated stories, verse, songs, and nonfiction. In contrast to solo “screen time,” which AAP cautions is inappropriate for very young children, engagement with ReadAskChat encourages lively, extended, and joyful adult-child interaction.
The ReadAskChat process is simple and fun: Read, Read Again, Ask, and Chat. ReadAskChat’s on-demand conversation starters will help you get the most out of each session. Here are are some general tips:
Choose a special time to ReadAskChat every day—maybe after dinner or just before bed. Your child will look forward to this special time with you.
Ask specific questions. Ask questions about the story, like: Why is the Old Man living with birds in a tree? The ReadAskChat conversation starters will get you started.
Encourage your child’s imagination. You may be surprised at what you hear!
Enjoy the art. Look closely at the pictures and chat about what you see. Make up your own stories about what is going on.
Have fun and be as silly as you like! Add sound effects, singing, acting out—whatever you like. Your child will learn that reading is fun!
Point and label. When you talk about something, point to it. Ask your child to point too: Can you point to the dancing mouse? This will help your child learn the meaning of new words.
Add ideas. Help grow your child’s vocabulary. If your child says doggie, you could say Yes! That’s a brown doggie with long ears.
Go back and look for new details. Children love hearing stories over and over again. ReadAskChat prompts help make every session a little different each time.
Connect the story to your child’s own life. Ask What would you do with a special leaf? How is Froggy’s bath time like your bath time?
Be patient. Your child’s attention span will grow over time. If your child seems restless, try reading the next story.
Stay flexible. Don’t worry about following the prompts exactly. The most important is to respond to your child’s interests and curiosity.
Try to ReadAskChat at least 10–15 minutes every day!
Ease into the next level. ReadAskChat enables you to change level when you decide your child is ready. For a baby, you will be doing most of the talking, answering your own questions, and playing together. Your toddler can point out characters in the art, or add details to the stories you tell. As children grow older, they will want to tell their own stories and point out familiar words. They will absorb how reading works (e.g., reading from left to right) and will be eager to read on their own.