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EDUCATION

once upon a time …

10 Benefits of Reading Aloud to Children The 1985 landmark report Becoming a Nation of Readers concluded that “the single most important activity for building knowledge … is reading aloud to children.” Reading aloud to kids has clear cognitive benefits—brain scans show that

hearing stories strengthens the part of the brain associated with story comprehension, visual imagery, and word meaning. One study found that kindergarten children who were read to at least three times a week had a “significantly greater phonemic awareness than did children who were read to less often.”

Reading aloud also strengthens children’s social, emotional, and character development. Research indicates that reading to very young children is linked to decreased levels of aggression, hyperactivity, and attention difficulties. As it increases their vocabulary, as well as their sense of empathy and other social characteristics, they are better able to use words to describe feelings that are otherwise difficult to express. This in turn allows them to better control their behavior when they encounter emotions like sadness or anger. Here are 10 other benefits to reading aloud to your children:

Builds Vocabulary Improves Reading Comprehension Promotes Empathy Reduces Stress Boosts Brain Development Exposes Kids to Different Experiences Increases Chance for Success Helps Develop Communication Skills Builds Self-Esteem Deepens Family Connections

For more information on the benefits of reading aloud to children and the source of this article, visit www.reachoutandread.org.

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MAY 2021

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