If there’s one thing anyone can do to improve a child’s life, and improve the community around them, it’s to make sure the child can read.
Research shows that people who read well are more likely to do well at school, make friends and have a better social life, get a good job, live in better housing, be healthier and live longer.
Even if you are not a confident reader yourself, you can make sure children in your family are.
The National Literacy Trust runs a website called Words for Life, which includes some useful tips on reading aloud to children.
Most brain development occurs from birth to age two, so babies and toddlers need stimulation as much as they need nourishing food. The best way to stimulate babies’ brains is to connect with them from the moment they are born.
This stimulates your baby’s brain, helping to strengthen the connections that make learning possible.
It helps them to learn to talk; good speaking and listening skills help them to become a good reader and writer and being able to communicate and talk will help your baby make friends and develop good relationships.
The Words for Life website also includes tips for engaging with your baby or toddler.
If you can spare ten minutes a day to read with a child you can make a huge difference to their development. You don’t have to read a book, you could read a comic, magazine article or a story you have made up yourself.
Share your tips for books your children have enjoyed with other parents on twitter #raisingreaders
Everyone can raise a reader.
Why not join a book club, or set up one yourself?