Why is Reading so Important?

 

"Reading regularly with young children stimulates optimal patterns of brain development and strengthens parent-child relationships at a critical time in child development, which, in turn, builds language, literacy, and social-emotional skills that last a lifetime."

 

American Academy of Pediatrics

 

View this BBC documentary in which science writer Rita Carter tells the story of how modern neuroscience has revealed that reading, something most of us take for granted, unlocks remarkable powers.

Dr. Pamela High of the American Academy of Pediatrics discusses how reading daily to young children, starting in infancy, can help with language acquisition and literacy skills.

"The more experience children have with books, the more likely they are to read early and well."

 

A video from ZerotoThree that clearly outlines why talking and reading with your baby and toddler is so important.

Learn more...

 

Below are resources and current research that highlight and discuss the importance of reading to and with children.... 

Reading Matters

An extensive collection of curated resources on why, what, how and where reading matters.

 

 

Reading Rockets - Research

Reading Rockets is a US multimedia literacy initiative offering information and resources on how young kids learn to read, why so many struggle, and how caring adults can help. They have an extensive research page offering many research studies about reading development and instruction.

2013 Let’s Read Literature Review

31 October, 2013

This literature review reiterates the significance of the early years prior to school as a critical time in a child’s journey toward literacy. It also highlights the important factors & experiences that are necessary for all children to develop sound literacy foundations.

 

Better Beginnings

2014

Research shows that learning to read is one of the most important factors in school success and that an early exposure to books and stories substantially contributes to success in early literacy.  There are strong links between literacy, school performance, self-esteem and life chances with poor literacy skills being linked with lower education, earnings, health and social outcomes.

Policy Statement: Literacy Promotion: An Essential Component of Primary Care Pediatric Practice

1 August, 2014

Issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics: "Reading aloud with young children can enhance parent-child relationships and prepare young minds to learn language and early literacy skills." 

Children, Teens, and Reading

May 12, 2014

This research review from Common Sense Media charts trends in reading rates and reading achievement over time among kids and teens in the U.S. It highlights key correlations between aspects of family life and children's reading.

National Literacy Trust Research Reports

The National Literacy Trust is a UK charity dedicated to raising literacy levels.. They provide informative research reports on their website. Their research aims to improve literacy attitudes, habits and skills by informing policy and practice. Some of their reports arehighlighted below.

Kids & Family Reading Report

2014

From Scholastic, the Kids & Family Reading Report is a US national survey sharing the views of both kids and parents on reading in the increasingly digital landscape and the influences that impact kids’ reading frequency and attitudes toward reading. Key findings include the significance of having parents who are frequent readers and who read aloud to their children.

Family Matters: The Importance of Family Support for Young People’s Reading

2012

From the National Literacy Trust, this report shows that what parents say, and what they do, can have a considerable impact on young people’s reading enjoyment, confidence and attainment. 

Why Fathers Matter to Their Children's Literacy

June 2009

From the National Literacy Trust, this paper briefly summarises the findings from the field of father involvement that also address the issue of children’s literacy practices. The literature reviewed indicates that fathers have an important role to play in their children’s literacy development

2 July, 2012

The Boys' Reading Commission’s report, compiled by the National Literacy Trust, reveals the “reading gender gap” is widening and says action needs to be taken in homes, schools and communities, with recommendations including boys having weekly access to male reading role models.

 

Effects of Reading to Infants and Toddlers on Their Early Language Development

2012

Findings in this research indicate that the earlier infants and toddlers are read to, the more positive the effects.

Reading aloud to children: the evidence

July 2008

An overview of key research on reading aloud to young children and it's influence on children's language and literacy development.  (Archives of Diseases of Childhood, July 2008 Vol 93 No 7)

 

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