Kim Jocelyn Dickson (M.A. Princeton Theological Seminary; B.S. University of Missouri-Columbia), a parent, educator, writer, and lifelong lover of books, grew up doing all the things she currently does now in her adult life. She played school—and somehow usually managed to be the teacher—read books, and loved to write. Books have always had a powerful influence on her, from inspiring her play as a child to inspiring her to become an author as an adult.
Kim has decades of experience in the elementary school classroom, and has taught in public and private schools in the east, Midwest, and west coast of the United States. Her experience in the classroom and as a parent convinced her of the importance of reading aloud to children from the start.
Kim long wondered: What if a longtime classroom teacher were able to meet her future students’ parents at the exit door of the maternity ward to share the single most important thing they can do to foster their parent-child bond and child’s future learning potential?
THE INVISIBLE TOOLBOX: The Power of Reading to Your Child from Birth to Adolescence (Mango Media, Inc., April 2020) is her answer to that question. Nearly thirty years teaching hundreds of elementary school-aged children has convinced Kim that the simple act of reading aloud from birth has a far-reaching impact that few parents understand and that our recent, nearly universal saturation in technology has further clouded its importance. THE INVISIBLE TOOLBOX aggregates research findings in neuroscience, education, and psychology along with practical anecdotal experience from the classroom and parenting to illustrate that the first years of life are critical in the formation and receptivity of the primary predictor of success in school—language skills—and that infants begin learning immediately at birth, or even before.
Kim frequently speaks to and consults with a variety of organizations—from elementary schools to the virtual worldwide gathering of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library’s Homecoming to the World Literacy Summit in Oxford, U.K.—about the importance of reading aloud from birth to adolescence.
She is the published author of various articles in psychology, literature, biography, women’s issues, religion, and Gifts from the Spirit: Reflections on the Diaries and Letters of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, a collection of reflective essays on the beloved author of Gift from the Sea.