Read Aloud’s 15-minute Movement

March 14, 2012

March is National Reading Awareness Month!

I was a painfully shy kid for the first few years of elementary school. I never went to kindergarten or playschool, so grade 1 was my first experience with a group of kids my own age. I can still recall the awkward terror of standing alone in the coatroom everyday, looking out at the groups of kids playing together before the morning bell rang to begin class.

But I was a good reader. My parents and older siblings read to me everyday at home and so when the teacher called on me to read a passage out loud in class I felt like Superman. If I had been a poor reader, one of those kids that stumbled over every second word, I would have been denied those few confidence building moments so important to an introverted child trying to fit into an extroverted world. Some people say reading is a way to escape the real world. For me, it was a way to fit in.

A child who can read is empowered. It’s as simple as that.

Why matters:

• Only about 1/3 of low-income families read aloud regularly.

• From 0-3, critical years for early brain development, parents are a child’s first teachers.

• By age four, low-income children have heard an average 32 million fewer words than their wealthy peers.

• By kindergarten, some low-income children have been read aloud to as few as 25 hours while their middle-income peers have been read aloud to as many as 1,000 hours.

• By end of the first grade if a child is not reading at grade level there is an 88% probability the child will not be reading at grade level by the end of the fourth grade.

• Children who are read aloud to by parents get a head start in language and literacy skills and go to school better prepared.

“Read more” here:

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