During my time as a Board Member of The Children of Bellevue, which initiates, develops and funds special programs for the children at Bellevue hospital and their families, I learned about the Reach out and Read Program and in turn the benefits of reading for your children. Language, school performance and curiosity are just a few of the many benefits to reading to your child and encouraging your child to read. The more words parents use the greater the child’s vocabulary. No matter where you look the positives are endless.
In Reach out and Read, volunteers sit on the floor with children. Kids are allowed to touch the book, to look at the pages, they are encouraged to ask questions and discuss what is happening to the characters in the book. In this way the volunteers are modeling great reading skills to parents and encouraging curiosities in the children as well as a love of reading.
So the question is what are the benefits of reading correlated to? Is it having books in the home? Is it actually reading them? Or is it modeling reading behaviors. According to Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner in their book Freakonomics (pg 167) there are many factors correlated with test scores including many books in the home but also including parental age, income and involvement. What is clear after reading through the websites and statistics is that books are important for you and for your child. Currently fewer than half (48%) of American children are read to daily (Reach out and Read)
Why not take the time to read a book to your child each day? Carve out time for personal reading as well. Your child will see that this is an enjoyable, relaxing activity that is worth your time and theirs.
Action Step – Want to make reading a habit? Try www.habitforge.com Enter your goal to read to your child or carve out personal reading time. The website will check in daily on your goal. It takes 21 days to form a new habit. Start now!
Taking it an ‘Action Step’ Further – Find a series that your child is interested in and buy the whole series. Instead of tuning in every night to a TV show, tune in to reading the series. Some examples are ‘The Magic School Bus’ or ‘Captain Underpants’
© 2010 All rights reserved.