Why Reading Books is Important (by Meredith Lord, Child

Why Reading Books is Important
(by Meredith Lord, Child Development Professional)
Why do Americans eat so much fast food? “I just don’t have the time to cook
dinner.” Why don’t we exercise more? “I just don’t have the time to commit to an
exercise program?” Why is my living room messy? “I don’t have enough time to
clean up.”
One thing that we all NEED to find time for is reading to our kids for 20 minutes
a day. According to the leading experts on this topic, here are the reasons why:
Children who read succeed. The most significant part of a child’s mental
growth between the ages of three and seven is the ability to imagine. Books
boost imagination. Our popular television culture degrades imagination.
TV and video are now our national babysitters. But a young child’s growing
mind needs active play and live conversation. Television puts a child into
what neurologists call the passive Alpha state. A child cannot learn from
screens because programs are meant to sell products not to teach.
Screen watching makes a child a follower and a consumer. Books exist
because of the power of human ideas. Readers are leaders and producers.
After a tiring day nothing is more restful than reading with a child on your
(from a speech by noted author/illustrator, Rosemary Wells)
Reasons Why You Should Read to Your Kids
Conditions the child to associate reading with pleasure, an association that is necessary in
order to maintain reading as a lifelong activity.
2. Contributes to background knowledge for all other subject areas including science, history,
math, and social studies.
3. Provides the children with a reading model.
4. Creates empathy towards other people because literature values humanity and celebrates
human spirit and potential, offering insight into different lifestyles while recognizing
5. Increases a child’s vocabulary and grammar, and has the potential to improve writing skills.
6. Improves a child’s probability of staying in school.
7. Improves future probability of employment and higher quality of life.
8. Improves problem-solving and critical thinking skills that are fundamental and transferable
to all other areas of learning.
9. Offers information.
10. Offers laughter and entertainment and an alternative to television.
11. Improves attention span.
12. Stimulates the imagination.
13. Nurtures emotional development and improves self-esteem.
14. Reading skills are accrued skills that are bound to improve over time….a countdown to
academic success.
(Author Esme’ Raji Codell summarizing author Jim Trelease’s book, “The Read-Aloud Handbook”)