LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The American Academy of Pediatrics has released their first ever policy statement focused on literacy promotion and they are urging pediatricians to talk to parents about the benefits of reading aloud to their children.
According to the AAP when parents read to their children it helps promote literacy and social skills.
A 2007 study found that one in three children in the U.S. starts kindergarten without the language skills required to learn how to read.
Don Pratt reads to his daughter Madie every night and said because of it she is far beyond her literary years.
"She reads at a very advanced age, she will be starting second grade and she is reading several years ahead," Pratt said.
Pratt said one of the key factors he's found in getting Madie to enjoy reading is choosing books that she's interested in.
"I think it's very important that you actually find something that they are interested in. So, our daughter likes princess and she likes magic so, we found books with princess and magic so that we could keep her interested," Pratt said.
The AAP recommends parents remember the so-called 5R's of early education:
- Reading with their children daily as part of a set routine
- Rhyming, singing and cuddling with them throughout the day.
- Establishing routines and regular times for meals and sleep.
- Rewarding them for their efforts and success to boost self-esteem.
- Developing relationships that are reciprocal and nurturing.
Samantha Lane, who also reads aloud to her children, says the benefits far exceed her children's literacy skills.
"If you miss out on family time, reading that can just pull you closer, like even if its five minutes you can sit down and lounge with your kids and read. It doesn't take that much and they like it, it's something to entertain with them and show them that we care," Lane said.
Studies also show that reading to your children while they are still in the womb can increase their literacy skills.