Books Build Better Brains – Reading Tips
from our partner Reach Out and Read

  • Make reading with your children a part of your daily routine, even for just a few minutes.
  • Talk about the pictures. You do not have to read the book to tell a story.
  • Let your child turn the pages.
  • Show your child the cover page. Explain what the story is about.
  • Run your finger along the words as you read them.
  • Silly sounds, especially animal sounds, are fun to make.
  • Choose books about events in your child’s life such as starting preschool, going to the dentist, getting a new pet or moving to a new home.
  • Make the story come alive. Create voices for the story characters.
  • Ask questions about the story. What do you think will happen next? What is this?
  • Let your child ask questions about the story. Talk about familiar activities and objects.
  • Let your child retell the story.
  • Visit your local library often.

Reach Out and Read estimates that fewer than half of the young children in the U.S. are read to daily. The Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County distributes nearly 57,493 books each year to 37 local clinics in support of Reach Out and Read in effort to educate families about the importance of early literacy and school readiness skills. Trusted pediatricians “prescribe” reading at each well-child visit from 6 months through 5 years of age. Most children see their pediatrician at least 10 times during this period. Reach Out and Read explicitly ties reading aloud to later school success and this strategy supports the aspiration that parents have for their children.


Reading Aloud = Success in School

Reading aloud in the early years exposes a child to story and print knowledge as well as rare words and ideas not often found in day-to-day conversations or screen time. Reading aloud also gives a child the opportunity to practice listening, which is a crucial skill for kindergarten and beyond. Reading aloud to children, the age-old report, Becoming a Nation of Readers, indicates is “the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading.”

To develop lifelong learning and love of reading skills, our Budding Readers program staff has been reading aloud weekly in interactive one-to-one sessions with 381 children. As a result, more than 91.4 percent of the children last year demonstrated comprehension in early literacy skills needed for future success in school.

Vanzandra Pompeo from partner site, Opportunity, Inc., shared a success story with us. She says, “After the Budding Readers program, Noonchee has gone from a child who had no words to express herself to one who now speaks in sentences; from being a non-participant in literacy activities presented in class to one actively engaged by making comments about a book’s story and illustrations.”