Why Is Reading One of The Most Important Skills For Kids?

Hey! We love that you're interested in this, but just a heads up, it's for North Florida.

We’ve got a surefire way to teach your kids a million words, increase their test scores, AND bring you closer together as a family! And the best part is…you can do it all from the comfort of your living room. Of course we’re talking about reading! And you’d think it was something we all do but unfortunately, “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.”1 And we do mean surefire! ”The single most significant factor influencing a child’s early educational success is an introduction to books and being read to at home prior to beginning school.”2

1. Build Those Brains!

kids read photo

Photo by ThomasLife 

So why IS it so important to read to our kids as soon as possible? Mainly because their little brains turn into BIG brains FAST! “The developing brain triples in the first year alone and is virtually fully formed by the time a child enters kindergarten.”And “By the age of 2, children who are read to regularly display greater language comprehension, larger vocabularies, and higher cognitive skills than their peers.”4 Scientists, doctors, and teachers agree that by age 5 “a child’s brain is undergoing the most growth and development.”5

2. Build Those Grades!

And of course we know reading is fundamental when it comes to school. That’s what we need to start reading as they’re young because “37 percent of children arrive at kindergarten without the skills necessary for lifetime learning.”6, and it only escalates from there as studies show “of 50 children having trouble learning to read in kindergarten, 44 of them will still be having trouble in third grade.”7 This can continue all the way until they are adults because an inability or lack of desire to read can be “a powerful predictor of high school and college graduation rates, as well as lifetime earnings.”8

3. Build Those Families!

kids read photo

Photo by Daddy-David

So let’s fix this! Let’s read together! That’s what the WAY Reading Challenge is all about! We want to see families across North Florida and South Georgia take just 20 minutes a day to read TOGETHER! And we can guarantee results – at just 15 minutes a day “reading can expose students to more than a million words of text in a year.”9 Make it a group activity because “children who were read to at least three times a week by a family member were almost twice as likely to score in the top 25% in reading compared to children who were read to less than 3 times a week.”10

Take the WAY Reading Challenge! Sign the pledge below and we’ll enter you into a drawing for a prize pack from the Ferst Foundation so you’ll ALWAYS have something to read as a family!

Fill out my online form.

1 Russ S, Perez V, Garro
2 National Commission on Reading, 1985
3Eliot, L. (1999). What’s Going on in There? : How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life. Bantum Books.
4Raikes, H., Pan, B.A., Luze, G.J., Tamis-LeMonda, C.S.,Brooks-Gunn, J., Constantine,J., Tarullo, L.B., Raikes, H.A., Rodriguez, E. (2006). “Mother-child book reading in low-income families: Correlates and outcomes during the first three years of life.” Child Development, 77(4).
5Shonkoff, J.P., & Phillips, D.A. (Eds.). (2000). From Neurons to Neighborhoods. The science of early child development. Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Sciences.
6Landry, S. H. (2005). Effective Early Childhood Programs: Turning Knowledge Into Action. Houston, TX: University of Texas, Health Science Center at Houston.
7 National Scientific Council, Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University. (2007). The Science of Early Childhood Development: Closing the Gap Between What We Know and What We Do. Cambridge, MA.
8McKinsey & Company (April 2009). The Economic Impact of the Achievement Gap in America’s schools. Washington, D.C.
9Anderson, Wilson, & Fielding, 1988.
10 Denton, Kristen and Gerry West, Children’s Reading and Mathematics Achievement in Kindergarten and First Grade (PDF file), U.S. Department of Education, NCES, Washington, DC, 2002.

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