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A sign posted at a library and shared on social media says it best.

It states, all in capital letters, “There is no app to replace your lap! Read to your child.”

Consider it easy in today’s world to hand a child a phone, e-tablet or other handheld device to help him learn to read. In some cases, the programs and apps can spell and read the words aloud via a computerized voice, or light up as a child points to them.

Don’t get me wrong. These devices are wonderful and give great incentive for children to learn and love reading. However, nothing can replace a good book read with mom and dad and from the comfort of mom or dad’s lap.

Locally, the Pottsville Free Public Library encourages lap time for parents of children ages 17 months to 3 years of age. From 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Wednesdays beginning today (Jan. 20, 2016) and running through April, the library will feature free lap time that includes free play for the little ones, along with a reading, singing and a simple craft.

Check your own local libraries for programs like this, too. I came upon a program at a community library quite by accident last month. I typed and printed a school assignment for my daughter (she had it all written up) at the library while my son went to the children’s section. Having time to spare, I joined him once I completed my task.

Jacob gathered a few books and we got comfy on the large, overstuffed bean bag furniture to read together. At this point, my son reads quite well himself, so he read to me as well.

As we read, we learned that the library holds a program on occasional Thursday evenings with reading, coloring and crafts. On this particular evening, a librarian read Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” played a guessing game and lead a Christmas wreath craft. It was fun!

In closing, while technology enhances reading and learning, remember to keep the simple tradition of reading together intact. It makes for wonderful memories, instills a love of reading aloud and with others and creates a list of favorite reads for years to come.