The importance of early reading to children

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) A new message for parents, you cannot start reading to your children too early. That message Tuesday from the people who care for our children, pediatricians.

The new guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests parents should read aloud to their children every day, starting in infancy.

“He’s read to every single night,” said Adriane Evans, a mother.

Adriane Evans is a first time mom. She and her husband read to Liam, their two-year-old, every night and during the day.

“It’s incredibly important. That’s a part of our nighttime routine that we never skip,” said Evans.

“It’s going to give kids skills that are going to benefit them in all aspects of their life,” said Sara Blake, M.D. at St. Francis Women’s Center.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is pushing the importance of reading to your child. Not every now and then, not just at bedtime, all the time.

“The earlier you start reading to your child, the more benefit you get in developing a relationship with your child,” said Blake.

The goal is to get pediatricians to spread the message to parents of young children, and provide books to needy families. You can read your infants anything.

“You can read a newspaper, a magazine. You could read a novel you’re reading that has nothing to do with kids. Especially that early on, because it’s just about getting them bonded with you and hearing your voice. And cuddling and being warm and fuzzy,” said Blake

Evans says watching her son try to read and show interest in books is invaluable.

“He already has early literacy skills that you expect from kindergartners and I think that’s all because of demonstrating and modeling that reading every single night,” said Blake.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is teaming up with the Clinton Foundation’s Too Small to Fail Program, the children’s book publisher Scholastic, Inc., and a group called Reach Out and Read.

Kansas First News caught up with Evans at Tot Time, a six-week long reading program for 24-36 month old toddlers at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library. The next session begins in August.

For information on the program, click here.

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