Reading is a gateway to knowledge. There is a wealth of research supporting the benefits of daily reading with children. It improves brain development, listening skills, builds early literacy skills, strengthens reading ability through practice, improves academic performance and improves relationships. Overall, reading to a child just 20 minutes a day gives that child an investment for a lifetime!
Starting from kindergarten, if a child reads 20 minutes a day at home, they will hear 1.8 million words per year. They will have read for 851 hours by 6th grade and on standardized tests, they will likely score better than 90% of their peers.
Here’s an interesting data showing the impact of reading 20 minutes a day:
Reading helps with brain development
Our brains develop as we “feed” them with experiences. The experience of reading (whether you’re the reader or the one being read to) activates and “exercises” many of the areas of the brain. A recent study conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics found reading to children of any age awakens a number of regions in the left part of the brain where the most basic impact occurs in the area associated with language reception. Reading snaps the neurons to attention as they start the work of transmitting all that information. The very nature of reading encourages the brain to work harder and better.
Strengthens family relationships
There is nothing quite like reading together as a family. Reading time is a crucial part of developing family relationships. A regular reading routine — like reading together for 20 minutes every day or always sharing a bedtime story — can help establish a consistent parent-child bonding time. Children will learn to associate reading to the warm, cozy feeling of togetherness with family creating wonderful memories.
Reading helps in language development
Speech and language lessons start in the uterus and continue from the time the child is born. Daily reading will help the brain make connections between the written and spoken word, consistently improving their vocabulary in the process. Reading not only increases exposure to language but helps children discover their love of language.
Reading improves listening skills
The experience of being read to helps children develop good listening skills by keying them into the components of language. There are 4 skills that go hand in hand: reading; listening, speaking and writing. Because these skills are interrelated, daily reading helps improve all skills including listening.
Reading helps understand the world
Reading helps students make sense of the world around them and develop the skills they need to navigate reality. Reading is more than just translating written words into verbal form; it is about understanding those words. It is about realizing those words/ideas which can be connected to their personal experiences. Reading will help children understand and prepare them to explore the complex world around them.
Reading teaches empathy
Researchers at The New School in New York City have found evidence that literary fiction improves a reader’s capacity to understand what others are thinking and feeling. Studies show that reading can help kids build developmental skills of emotional intelligence and empathy, enabling young readers to better connect with other perspectives and human experiences.
At Levra Foundation, we help foster deep learning and social interaction by breaking walls of social isolation through a Youth led engaged reading program.
In today’s digital world, access to information is limitless. How do we guide children and youth to filter information, to evaluate them and make an informed decision? At Levra Foundation, we do not stop at helping children and youth to gather information but we also guide them to be able to apply this to their daily life. This is why we are committed to continuously enrich them through our mentorship programs to help them realize their full potential.
Imagine the youths connecting with younger children reading to them and interacting with caring adults to mentor them and guide them?
The power of engaged reading is far more important than we can imagine. There is a connection between engaged reading and life success. Reading does not only enhance a child’s vocabulary but it also helps them to understand different topics about the world and everyday life. Reading is a gateway to knowledge. There is a wealth of research supporting the benefits of daily reading with children. It improves brain development, empathy, listening skills, builds early literacy skills, strengthens reading ability through practice, improves academic performance and improves relationships.