Reach Out and Read


I’ve dedicated each Friday in June to sharing summer reading adventures for you and the children you care about. I know it is a little different topic for Wishful Thinking Works, but reading to kids can change their lives and can be a rewarding part of creating the life you want! Spending time reading to a child cuddled in your lap is a great bonding experience, sure-fire happiness inducer, and can be a great stress reducer, too.

Today’s reading updates are from the Reach Out and Read web site. Reach Out and Read is a fantastic not-for-profit organization involving pediatricians, who prescribe reading aloud to parents during their children’s 6-month to 5-year well-visits. The program and its partners provide free books for children to help them develop healthy reading habits. I was lucky enough to partner with Reach Out and Read as one of my public relations projects. I have seen firsthand the joy and excitement reading brings to even the youngest children, and teachers across the country attest to its positive impact on school readiness.
Here is why reading to young children is so important:
  • Children who live in print-rich environments and who are read to during the first years of life are much more likely to learn to read on schedule.
  • Reading aloud to young children is not only one of the best activities to stimulate language and cognitive skills; it also builds motivation, curiosity, and memory.
  • Early language skills, the foundation for reading ability and school readiness, are based primarily on language exposure – resulting from parents and other adults talking to young children.
  • Research shows that the more words parents use when speaking to an 8-month-old infant, the greater the size of their child’s vocabulary at age 3. The landmark Hart-Risley study on language development documented that children from low-income families hear as many as 30 million fewer words than their more affluent peers before the age of 4.
  • Books contain many words that children are unlikely to encounter frequently in spoken language. Children’s books actually contain 50% more rare words than primetime television or even college students conversations.
  • The nurturing and one-on-one attention from parents during reading aloud encourages children to form a positive association with books and reading later in life.”

As you head out on your summer vacation or look forward to spending long and lazy days around the house, make books and reading part of the fun! Summer is a great time to share books about farms and gardens and how things grow, about turtle and frogs and other slimy things to know!  Quacking ducks and mooing cows are a huge hit with the under 5 crowd and don’t forget, board books are made for viewing and chewing!


    • Hi, thanks so much, Annette. I did try but because of my schedule couldn’t book as far in advance as they needed at the Rec. Center. If I can find another place, I will. Had so much fun with the girls!!!!!


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