Through years of research and studies, it is has been proven time after time the importance of reading to children. Children absorb words by print, but also by hearing spoken word. Either formally by reading or telling stories, but also by hearing adults talk aloud throughout the day.
While researching this topic, there are some startling facts I’d like to share with you. By the age of 3, our brains are close to 85% formed. Within the first year, the brain development can triple and is roughly fully formed by the time a child enters kindergarten. (“Lifetime Effects: The High/Scope Perry Preschool Study Through age 40.” Ypsilanti, MI: High/Scope Educational Research Foundation, 2005.)
Research has found that when mothers speak to their children throughout the day, they know 300+ words by age 2. This shows that the biggest aspect for literary success is the amount of words being heard. Whether by reading, telling stories, talking out loud or singing songs to your child. (Huttenlocher et al., 1991. Early vocabulary growth: Relation to language input and gender. Developmental Psychology, 27, 236-248.)
Your 2 year old has a lot going on in their brain. A 2 year old's brain is as active as an adult's and by the age of 3, that activity triples. TRIPLES. Our children have such a high capacity for knowledge that we should be feeding them as much as possible during these years.
Reading to children of all ages is one of the best gifts we can give them. Here are some research based facts
“The only behavior measure that correlates significantly with reading scores is the number of books in the home.” (The Literacy Crisis: False Claims, Real Solutions, 1998.)
Supplying your home and children with new (un-read by the child), age-appropriate books, you are contributing to over a double increase in their interest to read.
Children who are read to at least 5 times a week are better equipped to form full sentences, use details when telling stories and have higher comprehension skills. “Across the nation, just under half of children between birth and five years (47.8%) are read to every day by their parents or other family members.” (Russ S, Perez V, Garro N, Klass P, Kuo AA, Gershun M, Halfon N, Zuckerman B. Reading Across the Nation: A Chartbook (2007): Reach Out and Read National Center, Boston, MA .)
RESOURCES FOR LITERACY MATERIAL
Bring in a photo ID and you’re all set to begin checking out books for all ages, interests and levels. These books can be kept for 7-10 days at a time and most libraries allow you to continue checking them out as needed. You can also return any Polk County library book to any Polk County public library.
The bookmolbile is a really neat idea and is a FREE resource for children's books!
Dolly Parton Imagination Library
Dolly Parton’s organization mails books to children from birth until they begin school. The Imagination Library has delivered over 25 Million books and has expanded to cover the U.S, Canada, United Kingdom and Australia. Imagination Library is available in Polk County.
READ Lakeland is a non-profit dedicated to assisting adults improve their reading abilities. Tutor services include math, reading and writing skills. READ Lakeland is a great option and resource for families and guardians who have agreed to learn or improve their reading skills.