Reading to your child really matters

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!

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Written by
Danielle Harris

Danielle Harris is Senior Media Relations Coordinator at Augusta University. Contact her to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706-721-7511 or

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1 comment
  • I want to say that when my son was between kindergarden and 1st grade (he is 23 now) he was an “average” reader. I had always read to him since an early age, but he mostly bounced on the bed while I did so, never able to just sit and be still. My first son (now 29) loved to be read to and he would sit quietly while I read the same books multiple times. I was afraid son #2 would not be a good reader. Then one day out of the blue, he said “Mom I want to learn to read. The TV said to call 1-800-ABCDEFG” (I just looked this up and it’s still the same number to call) I kind of ignored him, but he came back again and repeated this. I finally made the call and it was “Hooked on Phonics”! I ordered the program and in 3 months (over the summer) he was reading very well and advanced to the gifted program the following year! The program was fun and the books were very entertaining! Yes,
    he still bounced on the bed, but stuck with it until we finished. I was really astounded and think it’s a brilliant program to help children learn how to read. He is now getting ready to start Grad School and has been an outstanding student his whole life (and continues to love to read).

Written by Danielle Harris

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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