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  • Writer's pictureVanessa Lavigne

IMPORTANCE OF READING ALOUD Giving young children a foundation for success.

Updated: Aug 28, 2019

As part of our alternative education in Ecuador we focus heavily on reading to the children in both Spanish and English. From an early age children are engaged in reading and we create a safe environment for kids to begin to read.


Giving young children a foundation for success.

When we look back on our childhood, many of us have fond memories of being read to, of snuggling up and enjoying a favorite story with the people who love us. And it's not so much the story that we remember, but the feeling of love and security that it gave us. 

It turns out that reading aloud, a time-honored tradition in so many families, is actually a wonderful way of helping children to reach their full potential: 

Reading aloud is a great way of engaging with young children

What happens during the first few years sets the stage for the rest of a child's life. It is a time when a child's experiences irreversibly affect how the brain develops - for better or worse.

Nurturing from a loving parent or caregiver in the early years supports healthy brain development that forms the foundation for success later at school and in life - and one of the best ways of engaging with young children is through looking at books together. Even the youngest baby loves to be held close and hear the voice of Mom or Dad as they read a book aloud.

Reading aloud promotes language development and early literacy skills

It is widely accepted that reading aloud is the single most important researched activity leading to language development and promotes early literacy skills ( 2, 3), such as: 

Book handling and namingUnderstanding how stories workRecognition of sounds and lettersKnowledge of a wide range of vocabularyAbility to listen 

Even young babies can benefit from read aloud practices!

All of these skills are essential as children start school and learn to read.

Reading aloud:

Builds motivation, curiosity and memoryHelps children cope during times of stress or anxietyTake children to places and times they have never been - enlarging and enhancing their worldsCreates a positive association with books and reading 

Despite all of the benefits of reading aloud, surveys show that only a half of parents read to their young children daily (2) and less than 10 percent read to their children from infancy (4). Families living in poverty are significantly less likely to read aloud to their infants and toddlers ( 2)

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