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The Benefits of Reading Aloud to Children

By: Erin Tornambe, Marketing Director

It’s World Read Aloud Day today! This global literacy movement helps us to advocate together that every child has the right to read. Today, more than a million people from over 100 countries will take a stand for literacy by reading aloud at home, in school and at work.

Reading aloud to children helps to build their vocabulary, language skills and comprehension. It helps to build communities of knowledge and spread joy to readers. One of the most effective ways to guide children into becoming stronger readers is to practice and model by reading aloud to them every day.

“Children are never too young or too old to have stories read to them,” says Glendia Kennedy, Reading Specialist at the Chester County Intermediate Unit, who regularly works with students at Villa Maria Academy. The benefits are wonderful, and kids form so much of their intelligence during their early years.

Scholastic published a groundbreaking report showing that one of the top predictors of students becoming strong, voracious readers is the frequency with which they have been read aloud to. (Huffington Post)

Not only will reading to your child help her develop language and listening skills, and a sense of curiosity, but it will help to strengthen the bond you share as well. It’s easy to forget that even a small act of kindness such as reading can be powerful. Use expressive language, be silly, and show them you enjoy reading too!

Some of my favorite memories are of being read aloud to as a child, both at home and at school. There’s a cassette tape recording of my dad reading Sloppy Kisses (a favorite of mine as a child) to me when I was no more than three that still vividly plays in my mind. When I had my first baby, that was one of my dad’s gifts to me, Sloppy Kisses, so I could read it to my kids. And both my kids still enjoy it just as much as I did. In school, it was my seventh grade English teacher’s love for Roald Dahl and his creative genius and her fun with expressive language as she read to us his many novels that sparked even more of my interest and love for reading which I now share with my own children. They love when I act silly when I read to them, and I love to see their expressions as they are having fun and experiencing the magic of exploring new characters and worlds in the stories. It’s always relaxing time together after a busy day when we all come home from work and school.

Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” – Roald Dahl, The Minpins

Here are some of the key reasons to start reading aloud to your kids.

  1. Children whose parents read to them tend to become better readers and perform better in school, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
  2. Reading to kids helps expand their vocabulary and speech development. Reading to older kids helps them understand grammar and correct sentence structure.
  3. Kids and parents can use reading time as bonding time. It’s an excellent opportunity for one-on-one communication, and it gives kids the attention they crave.
  4. Being read to builds children’s attention spans and helps them hone their listening skills.
  5. Curiosity, creativity and imagination are all developed while being read to.

If you’re not quite sure what to read aloud, Scholastic has put together a list of 100 Best Read Aloud Books for you to check out! Happy reading!

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