November 1 is National Family Literacy Day: How reading aloud gives kids a head start

National Family Literacy Day, benefits of reading aloud to childrenNational Family Literacy Day®, celebrated across the U.S., focuses on special activities and events that showcase the importance of family literacy programs. First held in 1994, the annual event is officially celebrated on November 1st.

Schools, libraries, and other literacy organizations participate through read-a-thons, celebrity appearances, book drives, and more.

Why parents should start reading aloud… to tots

So, how can parents participate in National Family Literacy Day? It’s as easy as picking up a book!

According to Reach Out and Read, “Reading aloud is widely recognized as the single most important activity leading to language development. Among other things, reading aloud builds word-sound awareness in children, a potent predictor of reading success.”

Even the youngest children can benefit from parent-child read aloud time. For example, infants revel in the sound of a parent’s voice. The youngest tots come to associate reading with dedicated 1-on-1 parent-child time, snuggled in a warm lap, hearing a fun story and looking at pictures. And, as pre-K children grow and develop, they learn quickly that the printed words on the page are the same as the spoken words… magic!

In fact, many doctors believe that a child that has never had the experience of being read to is not a fully healthy child. The American Medical Association has gone so far as to suggest that all doctors prescribe “reading to children.”

Reading together with older children is crucial

Once kids can read independently, reading together often goes by the wayside. But, not so fast say the experts!  Reading together with older children offers very specific benefits. According to author Shannan Younger of Chicago Now, these include:

1. Reading up. Children listen on a different level than they can read. So, if you have a fourth grader, reading aloud books that are more complex than could be read independently can prove both exciting and motivating.

2. Offering life lessons and a sense of belonging. Especially for older children, reading aloud together can also foster discussion about complex social issues, beliefs and feelings.

3. Reading aloud is a proven vocabulary booster.

4. Physical closeness (sneak in a snuggle!) and enjoyment. Modeling a love of reading is a lesson that will stand your child in good stead for the rest of his life!

How to get started on a read aloud program with your children

Back to Basics has listed all-time favorite children’s books by age category at Must-Read Children’s Books. And, for more information about National Family Literacy Day, please visit the National Center for Families Learning.

Get reading help in Delaware

Is your child struggling to learn how to read? Or, is he not reading at grade level? Sometimes, intervention by an educational or reading specialist is necessary for success.

If your child is struggling with reading skills, Back to Basics Learning Dynamics in Wilmington, Delaware provides 1-on-1 instruction using proven strategies for reading and reading comprehension.

Our experienced instructors will work 1-on-1 with your student to read, comprehend, retain and apply reading material. These sessions will provide students with the knowledge and confidence to complete any required reading-related assignments, such as reports, projects and tests.

Back to Basics is available 7 days a week at your home, day camp, or in our Newark or Wilmington locations. To learn more about reading help in Delaware and southeastern Pennsylvania, contact Back to Basics at 302-594-0754.

An investment in education is an investment in the future.  Since 1985, Back to Basics Learning Dynamics has been the undisputed leader in 1-on-1 tutoring in Delaware and southeastern Pennsylvania for over 60 subjects for children and adults, including 1-on-1 SAT/ACT/Praxis Prep, as well as translating and interpreting in 21 languages, homebound services, RTI support, and psycho-educational testing.  
Back to Basics operates a unique Department of Education-approved 1-on-1 K-12 Private School in Wilmington, Delaware. For more information about Delaware’s only Department of Education approved 1-on-1 private school, please call us at 302-594-0685.

Photo by Ambro and FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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