It’s no doubt that children whose parents read to them get a head start on language skills and literacy. However, many children aren’t getting ahead. According to NPR, one-third of children starting kindergarten do not have the language skills they need to learn to read.
As a result, the American Academy of Pediatrics is urging pediatricians to talk with parents about reading to their children starting in infancy. Research shows that early exposure to language, including reading, talking, and even singing, has a profound influence on children’s development. However, studies point out that hearing language from a TV isn’t the same. In order for children to really grasp language skills, the words need to come from a real person.
A study published by Developmental Science also found that exposure to language correlates with a family’s socioeconomic level. According to the 2011-2012 National Survey of Children’s Health, “less than two-thirds of children in families making $95,400 for a family of four are read to daily.” The statistic improves as family income rises, but children in poorer families lag behind in language processing as early as 18 months of age.
To close the gap, pediatricians are working with Reach Out and Read, a nonprofit organization that provides books for doctors to give to low-income families, as well as Too Small to Fail, a project of the Clinton Foundation.
Community Wells believes that story time with your little one is not only a bonding moment, but also an experience that will foster learning and growth for you and your baby. Last summer we held “Reading with the 5 Senses” workshops and starting on January 25th we will begin “Creciendo con Libros” or “Reading with Books”. These classes will be conducted entirely in Spanish and will serve as a starting point for parents to continue enjoying story time with their children at home.