Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Reading Out Loud, for Cryin' Out Loud!

Jen Robinson's Book Page has a great post about the idea of a campaign to to encourage reading aloud to kids. Her blog post includes her own thoughts on the matter as well as a round-up of some other recent articles and blog entries on the topic. What really stood out to me was this line of hers:
I don't know what the answer is, but it's simply not acceptable that more than half of children under 6 in the US aren't being read to every day.

It's astonishing to me that reading aloud isn't a given. Or, as she puts it, that "13 million children under 6 years old [go] to bed every night without a bedtime story." Set aside the fact that reading to a child is the "right" thing to do (for the child's emotional and educational development), it's also an easy way to parent when all else fails -- personally, it's my fallback technique of choice! Kids misbehaving? Read. Kids fighting? Read. Kids whiny and tired? Read. When in doubt? Read. And it soothes the reader as much as the readee.

I, too, would like to see modeling of reading aloud behavior by prominent public figures. Perhaps every elected official (from President on down), and every celebrity of any sort, could commit to doing one read-aloud story time at his or her local library in the course of the next year.

Wouldn't that be spectacular?


Kelli @ writing the waves said...

That would be spectacular!!!

We're doing a "Snuggle Up and Read" campaign a the library during the month of February to encourage parents to make sure they are reading to their children on a routine basis.

Reading to my kids is truly one of my favorite things to do with them. Parents that don't do it are really missing out, and so are their kids!

Unknown said...

Would be great indeed. Every month should be reading month!