Originally a full-time preschool teacher, Dr. Rene Hackney now holds a Master?s in school psychology and a PhD. in developmental psychology from George Mason University. She trained at the Developmental Clinic at Children?s National Medical Center and for the public schools, teaching in parenting programs at each. She has also acted as a consultant to several area preschools.
For the last four years, Dr. Hackney has owned and lectured for Parenting Playgroups, Inc, a parenting resource center and preschool classroom in Alexandria Virginia. She has offered workshops to a wide
range of parent, teacher and social work groups during this time.
Workshop topics include eight hours on positive discipline techniques, five hours on early academic issues and common issues such as sibling rivalry and potty training. All workshops provide well researched lecture, in-class practice and open discussion time. Additionally she hosts a monthly parenting focused book club and fun play programs to introduce the preschool setting to young families.
Dr. Hackney is married and has two young children of her own.
Host: How else can parents encourage a love of reading? Rene Hackney: They can encourage a love of reading just by having books available. Think about having books available on every level of the house or books available in the play room and in the bedroom, in our house there are baskets of books everywhere. The idea two is that you want to keep those board books for longer than you would have thought otherwise a lot of people just keep board books for in children or babies, but as children start to become independent readers, as they hit kindergarten and first grade, those board books can provide the really simple, easy entry way into reading independently. So, they might go back and it is only one sense per page, so they do not feel frightened by it or overwhelmed by it. It also is good to read aloud to young children even if they do not seem to be paying attention. We get back question a lot where parents will say Should I even read aloud to my three old, he is not paying attention, he runs off and plays with his toys. The idea is yes, read aloud to that child but do not force them to pay attention. Just assume it is sinking in, assume they are getting it. Hopefully to go is this that over time the more you read aloud the more likely they will be to come and sit down next to you and really listen.
Another way to encourage that reading aloud is to give reading as a treat, meaning we have had lots of families say, You can stay up late night if we are reading and so reading as part of a good process. It is also a good idea to model reading aloud. Let your children see and hear you reading for yourselves, so the books that you read if you just read them after they go to bed, they do not feel as a model of reading. Now, this is particularly important these days for fathers to model reading to boys. A lot of time you will see that reading classrooms and remedial reading classrooms are more heavily filled with boys, part of it may be they just do not have good male role models reading. Their moms are reading to them and their teachers are mostly women. So, for dads to model reading is also very important.