A new survey from Read Aloud 15 MINUTES released on Read Across America Day Friday reveals that as many as 3.4 million babies are being deprived of a basic building block for early brain development and future success: being read aloud to everyday.
“This is a survey of families with kids between birth and age 8,” said Dr. John Hutton from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Reading and Literacy Discovery Center. “It was a follow up from a survey we did about two years ago. The key findings were that about 42 percent of parents, or a little less than half across the board were reading to their children every day.”
About 30 percent were reading for at least 15 minutes, a little less than the last survey.
“About 30 percent of parents were reporting reading aloud to their children starting at birth,” said Dr. Hutton. “Suprisingly, in the older kids, between 6 and 8 years old, about two-thirds of parents were reporting no longer reading to their children every day.”
Read Aloud 15 MINUTES says now is the time to start.
“We recommend beginning as soon as possible after birth,” said Dr. Hutton. “Mostly to start the routine at home, babies are mostly interested in that nurturing experience on the lap and hearing language, hearing the parent’s voice. It really creates that habit that sort of carries forward.”
Reading aloud plays a vital role in a child’s brain development, cultivating the language and literacy skills necessary for school readiness.