Reading is opportunity. Not only does it subtly build vocabulary, reinforce grammatical structures, and stimulate the mind, it also ignites the imagination.
From the pages of a book you can travel to places you've never been or be a spectator or participant in events you wouldn't otherwise experience, and building this background knowledge is advantageous for both children and adults.
There’s a popular infographic that powerfully demonstrates how the benefits of reading each day increase exponentially. A student who reads 20 minutes per day is exposed to 1.8 million words per year, whereas a student who reads five minutes per day is exposed to 282,000 words per year, and a student who reads one minute per day will be exposed to 8,000 words per year. Take note that it uses the word “student” and not child. Adults are students, too, because we should never stop learning! The importance of reading is apparent. Read more, read better.
Reading for pleasure is mentally stimulating and relaxing, and has proven health benefits for the young and old alike. Reading builds knowledge base, expands vocabulary, and provides a relaxing escape for readers both young and old. It is the most inexpensive for of entertainment, and it promotes lifelong learning.
Adults and children reading together is a way of bonding, and these experiences have lasting positive effects on the relationship between caregiver and child. By reading with your child, you can help them learn to self-regulate, de-escalate conflict, and those moments spent snuggling with a book give children your undivided attention, which they continually crave.
Additionally, children need to see adults reading for pleasure and knowledge. This modeling can inspire them to pick up books independently and fosters a home culture with an appreciation for literacy.
Today a reader, tomorrow a leader might sound cliche, but it is no fallacy. Literacy improves the economy and creates jobs. According to UNESCO, if all students in low-income countries had basic reading skills, 171 million people could escape extreme poverty. Reading is the great equalizer and can transcend race, ethnicity, and economic status.
So grab your closest book and let the adventure begin!