Written by: Dr. Paulette Harris, contributing writer and Director of Georgia Regents University’s Literacy Center.
Brain research findings indicate that early reading to your child promotes early literacy development. Of course, you want your child to develop a lifelong love of reading, and it is best to start early by reading to your young child from birth.
Picture books are great for the first books that you share with your child. Books with bright, colorful pictures are perfect for early sharing. In addition, black and white photos are even better for attracting very young readers to the page. However, feel free to change the words in the story to match the age of your young child. Keep in mind when selecting stories that certain stories are excellent for lulling the young child to sleep (e.g.,Goodnight Moon).
Your goal is for your young child to grow up loving books. Reading with your child is one of the best ways to raise readers. It is important to continue to read aloud to your child long after the child has learned to read. It is also critical that your child has books that he owns and can read and reread as he becomes a proficient reader.
The thrust of the Greater Augusta Partnership for Literacy is to provide families with young children books that truly belong to the child. From the time the first book arrives in your mailbox to the last time the child has that book read to themselves or is able to read the book on their own is when remarkable growth occurs.
As stated at the beginning of this article, brain research findings substantiate that the child who is read to becomes the lifelong reader. Let’s read to our children so that they will always read!