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Year of the Book Advice: It’s Never Too Late to Read Aloud to Your Child.

by Suzanne Loring Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLiF)

Did you know that it is never too early or too late to start reading to your child? I know that reading aloud usually conjures up an image of a small child sitting on a caregiver’s lap cuddled up pointing at pictures and reading stories. But that’s only part of the picture. In fact, when sixth graders at Newbury Elementary School in Vermont were asked last spring how parents could become more involved with them in reading, there was an overwhelming response of, “Read aloud to us more at home!”

Reading aloud to or with your child has advantages to children at all ages. Regardless of whether you have an infant or a 10-yearold, reading aloud can be beneficial in building vocabulary and listening skills, expanding your child’s imagination, and encouraging a love of reading. Children who are read to at home have a better chance of scoring at the appropriate level on reading and writing tests in school.

Not only does reading aloud increase the likelihood of success in school, but it also creates quality time between reader and listener. It can be a wonderful conversation starter especially with older kids about topics that you might have otherwise avoided, or been too uncomfortable to discuss in the first place. It can bring you closer to your child by giving you the opportunity to learn their opinions and see their perspectives on different subjects.

Just take it slow: read a chapter a night, a picture book in the morning, laugh together over a comic strip, or listen to an audio book while you are driving in the car. Every little bit helps.

Note: This year PES is partnering with CLiF on year-long Year-ofthe- Book grant, which is bringing programming to our school and books to our students. Read the PES News and visit our website for upcoming YotB events.