January 27, 2017

GRATUS is a big supporter of volunteering and mentorship in the community. We are setting up reading programs with local schools to volunteer time to read books to the children. Please send an email to v@urbancreative.com if you are interested in having us at your school, youth program or want to be a GRATUS volunteer/mentor. We appreciate your time and participation!

Benefits of GRATUS Books

ENGAGES Human Connection
Reading creates a bond and gives children a sense of intimacy and well-being. This activity can calm children during times of restlessness. Reading together creates a pleasurable experience in which the child will develop a positive attitude towards reading that will last well into adulthood. 

Reading promotes increased communication between parent and child. Preschool children who are exposed to language by hearing words that are read aloud and in conversation tend to do better in school. Many studies show that students who love learning and do well in school were exposed to reading before preschool. 

IGNITES Fine Motor Skills 
Basic reading skills include language, concentration, visual processing skills, auditory processing skills, memory and reasoning. 

Babies learn early the basics of reading a book, how words represent sounds and concepts, words are read from left to right and stories continue when you flip the page. This promotes a longer attention span which is an important skill for children to be able to concentrate. 

Books teach children cognitive skills early on. When children are read to, cause and effect is understood, logic is exercised and abstract ideas are processed easily. Consequences of actions and the basics of what is right and wrong are understood by the child. 

FOSTERS a Connection to Cultural Heritage 
GRATUS Books help readers understand and relate to culture, values and customs through imagery and story-telling. Developing an identity to one’s culture allows for understanding and tolerance towards other cultures. This respect for cultural diversity creates individuals that are more likely to make a positive contribution to society. 

AIDS in Becoming Bilingual 
Bilingual children have a better ability to focus and ignore distractions in the environment. That is because the part of the brain called the executive function, used for planning, judgment, working memory, problem solving and staying focused on what is relevant is stronger in bilinguals. Every time you speak, both languages are actually active and the brain has to work to suppress one language while the other is being used. 

That mechanism employs the executive function of the brain more regularly in bilinguals and therefore it becomes more efficient. This ability starts very young in bilingual babies. 

Bilingual children can switch from one activity to another faster and are better at multi-tasking than monolinguals. That is also credited to the executive function of the brain, giving bilinguals better cognitive control over information that allows them to switch tasks. 

Bilinguals have increased mental flexibility and creativity. When you learn there is more than one word for an object, it stretches the mind in new ways and gives children greater mental flexibility and creativity as they have two windows through which they view the world. 

Bilingual children display stronger logic skills and are better equipped than monolinguals at solving certain mental puzzles. 

The advantages of being bilingual carry over throughout adult life, as bilingualism alters your brain chemistry, which has been linked to staving off the onset of Alzheimer’s. 

Once a child is bilingual, they are more apt to acquire a third, fourth and even fifth language. 

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