Since Tatum was a baby, David and I have read a story (now that she’s older she gets three stories!) every night before bedtime. It has been a wonderful way to wind down in the evening, and to bond with our daughter. It opens conversation, it gets her imagination going, and she is learning. Even if we have had a rushed day and we’re getting Tatum to bed later than normal, she still gets a story or two before she falls asleep. The importance of parents reading to their children every day is immense, and that’s why I’m happy to say that Those Young Moms are now supporting the Read Aloud 15 Minutes organization.
Read Aloud is a non-profit organization that is working to make reading to children for fifteen minutes every day the new standard in child care. As their website reads, when every child is read aloud to for 15 minutes every day from birth, more children will be ready to learn when they enter kindergarten, more children will have the literacy skills needed to succeed in school, and more children will be prepared for a productive and meaningful life after school.
Read Aloud was founded in 2008, and since then has focused on spreading its message about the power of reading aloud. I was so thrilled when I was approached to help spread the word about this amazing cause, and hopefully by sharing Read Aloud on Those Young Moms, we will be able to reach other families who will also share Read Aloud’s important message. I have always been a big advocate for reading to your children every day. Literacy skills will open doors for your children, will help to prepare them for whichever career path they choose, and by reading to your children every night you will strengthen the parent-child bond that is so crucial.
Not only has Read Aloud shared their powerful message with the world, but it has also provided age-appropriate books for vulnerable families at twice yearly “reading parties” through their Big Box of Books program. More than 1,800 families have benefited from this effort.
Did you know that:
- Children aged 2 to 3 who are read to several times a day do substantially better in kindergarten at the age of 4 and 5 than youngsters who are read to only a few times a week or less (National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth, Statistics Canada, 1996-1997).
- Establishing a culture of learning encourages an exchange of ideas, enriches family relationships, and bolsters confidence and independent thinking.
- For a child, the more time spent with a parent reading aloud increases his or her level of attachment, enhances a sense of security, and imparts the knowledge that their parent feels they are worthwhile people with whom to spend time (How to Raise a Reader, 1987).
- Children raised in literate households are likely to enter grade one with several thousand hours of one to one pre-reading experience behind them (Literacy BC).
Even though there are endless benefits to reading aloud to our children, parents are increasingly spending less time reading to their children. It’s not solely based on economic background, it is society as a whole that has seen a decrease in children being read to from a young age. More than 40% of families don’t read aloud to their children every day. This number needs to change, so I strongly encourage all of you moms and dads to make reading aloud to your children for 15 minutes every day a priority. 15 minutes is such a small part of our day, and our little ones will greatly benefit from it.
How do you find time to read aloud to your children every day? Do you need to make it more of a priority in your home?