Did you know that March is National Reading Awareness Month?
The need for a national campaign encouraging parents to read aloud to their children each day is necessary, as 1 in 3 students get to kindergarten without the tools required for lifelong learning. We need a national campaign because children who are not reading proficiently by the end of first grade have an 88% chance of never reading at grade level. Students who are not reading at grade level by the 4th grade are four times more likely to drop out of school. These are scary, serious, and totally preventable statistics.
Reading aloud for just 15 minutes each day, starting as early as infancy, is all that it takes to ensure we set up our children for success in the classroom.
We know that the first few years of a child’s life are absolutely critical for brain development. This is also a critical time for language development. When we read aloud to our children for 15 minutes each day we are exposing them to over 1 million words per year- including unique words that aren’t otherwise used in our day-to-day conversations. This helps develop their vocabulary, comprehension, and also develops & encourages their own creativity.
Not only are we helping to develop their language skills, we are also teaching our children important social-emotional skills that will last a lifetime. They will learn compassion and understanding for others through the stories we read to them. Reading aloud together can help children learn to express their own thoughts and feelings in healthy ways and can teach them how to cope during stressful times.Reading aloud is a very important and special activity you can use to bond with your child starting as early as infancy. Reading aloud with your child from birth until at least kindergarten is a special time that your child will look forward to each day. Spending even 15 minutes with your child will help them develop trust in you as their parent. This is a great opportunity to connect with our children.
Reading aloud to our children is so important that it is now considered a basic standard of care by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The recommendation is just 15 minutes of reading aloud each day. Parents are encouraged to make this a part of your daily routine just as you do for bath time or meal time. It’s that important.
So mamas, parents, grandparents and caregivers- it’s up to us! We need to make the most of this critical time we have with our children. Children are born ready to learn and we are their first teacher. Let’s help them develop a love of reading and encourage them to be lifelong learners!