The beginning of summer doesn’t have to mean the end of reading for children who may not voluntarily pick up a book outside of school. An American Family Children’s Hospital pediatrician has tips for keeping kids engaged after the school year’s final bell rings.
“There are strategies for integrating reading into a child’s life, no matter how young or old they are,” said Dr. Dipesh Navsaria, pediatrician and director of University of Wisconsin Pediatric Early Literacy Projects, which includes the clinic-based Reach Out and Read program and the American Family Children’s Hospital Inpatient Reading Library.
Books Build Better Brains. Even better, those same books, when shared together with a child, become even more important to their development. This is because social connections and relationships matter deeply.
For young children, being aware of books and familiar with their conventions is key — despite not being able to “read” yet, the positive associations of being read to regularly, of understanding that books contain delightful stories, and of the critical idea that print conveys information, all together leads to their brains wiring in the best possible way for school readiness. The research is clear: children who are read to on a daily basis have improved language scores and will enter kindergarten with higher letter recognition.