Treasures on the Shelves — Reading to children improves their ability to learn

Published 9:25 am Saturday, August 6, 2022

Our children will soon be preparing to return to the classroom. Hopefully, they have done some reading over the summer.

If not, now is a good time to start. Time to disconnect from devices and open a book.

How can parents help? Reading aloud is the single most important activity parents can do to prepare their child for reading and learning throughout life.

Research has shown that by age 3, a gap can be seen between children whose parents read to them and those who do not. Infant brains between birth and age 3 are like sponges that soak up words shared through interacting with caregivers. The goal should be to have every child read for 15 minutes by every significant adult in their life every day beginning at birth or even before.

Even adults who don’t feel comfortable reading aloud should start as soon as possible as practice may not make it perfect, but will help improve the reading. You can improve at anything with practice, including reading.

Remember, reading isn’t just for the young. We all benefit from reading and being read to or listening to books. Like riding a bike, once you learn to read, you can always read, but reading on a regular basis helps with understanding advanced texts.

What you read isn’t as important as the fact that you are reading or listening to books, magazines or other materials. You also can download ebooks and audiobooks to read or listen to whenever you have time.

Your local libraries have a huge selection of audiobooks available for check out. So read to a child and practice, practice, practice, practice those reading skills.

Connie Krupa is the children’s program coordinator for the Lunenburg County Public Library System. She can be reached at cckrupa@embarqmail.com.