The Importance of Reading Intervention at an Early Age

By: Daley Johnston M.A., CF-SLP

“The single most important activity for building knowledge for their eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children,” stressed Becoming a Nation of Readers, a 1985 report by the Commission on Reading. It is important to read aloud to children of all ages. It is important from infancy through the high school years. Families and teachers can create and continue a tradition, introduce and reinforce the pleasures of reading, and, as children get older, set the stage for meaningful conversations about numerous topics.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a division of the U.S. Department of Education, children who are read to at home enjoy a substantial advantage over children who are not. They found that children who were frequently read to were also more likely to count to 20, or higher, than those who were not, write their own name and read or pretend to read. There are many other benefits to reading to children early in life that not only affect their lives as children but also as adults.

At just a few months of age, an infant can look at pictures, listen to your voice and point to objects on cardboard pages. Children learn to love the sound of language before they even notice the existence of printed words on a page. Reading books aloud to children stimulates their imagination and expands their understanding of the world. It helps them develop language and listening skills and prepares them to understand the written world.

Reading aloud presents books as sources of pleasant, valuable and exciting experiences. Children who value books are motivated to read on their own. It lets children use their imaginations to explore people, places, times and events beyond their own experiences. Reading aloud can also let parents be role models for reading. When children see adults excited about reading, they will catch their enthusiasm.

Some benefits that parents and caregivers may see because of reading to their children are a stronger relationship with you, academic excellence, basic speech skills, the basics of how to read a book, better communication skills, mastery of language, more logical thinking skills, acclimation to new experiences, enhanced concentration and discipline and learning that reading is fun!

As this information proves, only positive things can come from reading aloud to your child at an early age! It is important to read to children of all ages. With the help of reading aloud, children can begin a lifelong relationship with the printed word; they can grow into adults who can read easily and frequently whether for business, knowledge or pleasure.