Reading is important for safety. But I want to remind everyone that reading is also a leisure activity. I still to this day love to read Amelia Bedelia, Ramona and where the siewalk ends. I think that choosing books that get children excited to read is important. When your interested and its fun it becomes not work. In grade school I wish my teachers would have picked some fun books instead of the boring see jane go up the hill. Later in school, I had a teacher who read to us. We were in 6th grade but we looked forward to it every day. She picked books that engaged us. It made me look for books as exciting as she found.
Writing is also important. Writing is story telling to letter formation. I know that everything today is computerized and most things are typed. I wonder....I've heard.... they no longer teach cursive handwriting. I know that some students have poor penmanship and it would be easier to grade typed papers but there's something to be said about a good old fashioned snail mail letter. I hope that art never goes away. I know a little off topic but not too far. It was just on my mind.
A friend of mine teaches and she went home to CA over the summer.She wrote each of her students a postcard. They loved them. On the first day of school they talked about it the whole day. Its a big deal to get mail when you're young. It's still a big deal to get something in the mail other than bills and catalogs.