Read, Read, READ!!!!
May 23, 2017 6:43 pm
Children have forgotten! They have forgotten about books. . . . how they feel, how they smell, what it is like to read one late at night tucked in bed or how the world and all its adventures are just a page away. They have forgotten or sadly, maybe have never been introduced. Some children have never been to their local library. Some children do not even own a book. However, they could easily tell you all about Pokémon, their best time on a fidget spinner or every trick in a Minecraft video game, but they could not tell you about books…because children are reading less and less and as parents, we are indirectly telling them this is okay.
The National Center for Education Statistics documented that in 1993 only about 78% of families read to their pre-kindergarten-aged child; by 2005, the proportion had risen to 86%. Why the increase, and why is it not even higher? And, why the fuss?
Children of all ages (and even adults) benefit from being read to, and no child is too old or too young to enjoy the time, attention, and love that is transmitted from ‘story time’.
You may be familiar with Read Aloud Programs, and the national platform “Reach-Out and Read”. An Atlanta suburb was recently commended for its work in collecting books and for the distribution of these books to children, and a local TV station sponsors a ‘Books to Kids’ program.
So why the fuss? It turns out that reading to children at an early age has some distinct benefits, and is a catalyst for a life-long interest in reading. Reading time is a great opportunity for bonding, and it can build a child’s attention span. In addition, these children tend to have better vocabularies, and perform better in schools – which has been documented as a predictor of success in school, which in turn encourages school completion with better employment opportunities thereby often lending to an improved lifestyle above poverty levels.
Clearly, then, this purposeful behavior needs to span the generations.
So, don’t just “Dream, Dream, Dream” as the song goes, but REad, REAd, READ !!
Make it a goal to read this summer. . . not reading the instructions to a video game, not a virtual book, but read a book with real paper pages they have to touch and turn. Plan a fun day to go get your child a library card, find a series that might interest them and encourage them to read the entire series. Get involved! Read what they are reading, engage in conversations and ask questions. You might just be surprised when your child asks to go the library instead of asking for your I-pad.