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How to Raise a Reader

Just as your little one develops language skills long before being able to speak, she also develops literacy skills long before being able to read. What you do, or don't do, has a lasting impact on your child's reading skill and literacy.

Children develop much of their capacity for learning in the first three years of life, when their brains grow to 90 percent of their eventual adult weight. When you talk, sing, and read to your child, links among his brain cells are strengthened and new cells and links are formed.

Play is the work of your young children. From the first lullaby to dramatization of a favorite story, music and other creative arts can stimulate language and literacy development. You can help build pre-literacy skills through dramatic play and one-on-one interaction.

Many pediatricians believe that a child who has never held a book or listened to a story is not a fully healthy child. Reading aloud to young children is so critical that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that doctors prescribe reading activities along with other advice given to parents at regular check-ups.

Despite the considerable evidence of a relationship between reading regularly to a child and that child's later reading development, six in ten babies and five in ten toddlers are not read to regularly by parents or family members.



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