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Reading crucial to child’s development


Guest Columnist

Have you read to your child today?

Fewer than half of young children in the United States are read to daily. In most states, minority and low-income children are less likely to be read to every day. As a result, many children from low-income families enter kindergarten with a listening vocabulary of 3,000 words while many children of middle/upper income families enter with a listening vocabulary of 20,000 words.

Proficiency in reading by the end of third grade is crucial in a child’s education development.

Early literacy starts at birth. Parents should begin reading to their child in order to prepare them for later success in life. Reading will help children with speech skills and brain development. It will also create a bonding experience with the child.

Based on the research by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), reading is the single most important skill necessary for a happy, productive and successful life. A child that is an excellent reader is a confident child.

Benefits of reading to your child:

Children who listen to books read aloud to them have an increased vocabulary

Reading aloud develops imagination

Reading aloud teaches critical thinking skills, motivation, curiosity and memory

Reading aloud is a proven technique to help children cope during times of stress or tragedy.

Research shows the more words parents use when speaking to an 8-month-old infant, the greater the size of their child’s vocabulary at age 3.

Your local library is a great resource for your child. This can help immensely for families struggling to buy new books for their children.

Consider the Gaston County Public library and/or the Lincoln County Public Library. In addition to finding great books there are also several programs available for children, including Preschool Story Times and Toddler Times.

“Early literacy begins at home very early on in a child’s life. When a parent talks, sings, plays, and most importantly reads to a child, they are introducing vocabulary, knowledge and sounds of letters. The best thing is they are instilling the love of reading and learning in a child. It takes a lot of work from parents, caregivers and early childhood educators to make children ready to learn at school -early literacy does not happen overnight. Children with early literacy skills are ready to learn when they get to school. From kindergarten to 2nd grade children are learning to read. By third grade, children are reading to learn. Being ready to read and having early literacy skills are key to success in reading in school.” – Sarah Miller, Children’s Services Librarian Supervisor at the Gaston County Public Library.

Winter book recommendations:

Winter: Signs of the Season Around North America: By Mary Pat Finnegan

Snowy, Blowy Winter: By Bob Raczka

Crafts to make in the Winter: By Kathy Ross

The Shortest Day: By Wendy Pfeffer

A Winter Day: By Douglas Florian

Winter Visitors: By Elizabeth Lee O’Donnell

One Winter’s Day: By Christina M. Butler

Chaucer’s First Winter: By Stephen Krensky

Want to learn more about the Partnership for Children of Lincoln & Gaston Counties?

The Partnership for Children of Lincoln & Gaston Counties is your local Smart Start agency. You can reach us at 704-922-0900 or visit us online at www.pfclg.com. Our vision is a community where young children will reach their health and educational potential.

Connect with us:



Flickr, www.flickr.com/pfclg

Twitter: Ready4School

Amy Wadsworth is public information coordinator for the Partnership for Children of Lincoln & Gaston Counties.


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