How doing this one thing -- for 15 minutes a day -- can change your child's life forever

You know that reading is important for a child's development, but did you know that reading aloud to young children for just 15 minutes a day can catapult them to success later in life? And did you know, also, that only 46% of American children are actually read to each day by their parents?

Research shows that reading aloud to young children from the day they're born is the single most important thing parents can do to prepare their kids for learning and reading on their own. It helps to develop a child's vocabulary, phonics, storytelling and comprehension, and simply a familiarity and appreciation for the written word. It also fosters empathy, and encourages social and emotional bonding between parent and child. (What more could you want for your little one?)

Read Aloud, a national campaign, has released a new video (watch above!) to help get the point across -- that this is one thing parents should try to do, every single day, from the day their babies are born.

Reading interesting story with my mom

It's a funny video, but it captures your attention -- and hopefully gets the message across. That dad is determined to help his brand new baby! After all, it's an imperative learning step for children from an extremely young age (their most critical, formative years are from birth to age 3) and it will follow them through life -- for better or worse.

Studies show a few alarming things about how a lack of reading can affect children:

  1. The number of words a child knows in kindergarten can predict his or her future success in school.
  2. It's a slippery slope: Not reading at grade level in first grade creates an 88% chance that same child will not read at grade level by fourth grade.
  3. If a child isn't reading at grade level by third grade, he or she is four times more likely to drop out of school.

March is Read Aloud Month, and the goal is to let parents know just how much they can help their children in just fifteen minutes a day. It's clear that reading to babies and toddlers helps their brains develop and their learning abilities later in life, but it also ideally creates a love of reading, and of course, lots of quality bonding time with your little one.

Head to readaloud.org to learn more, and get tips on how you can build your baby's brain with books.

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