The University of Rochester Warner School of Education recently started its monthlong social media push to promote the importance of reading aloud to children of all ages.
This year, the annual campaign aims to encourage readers to document, share and tag photos of the books they are reading to children with the hashtags #Read4Luv and #WhatAreYouReading? throughout February.
Warner School professor and literacy expert Carol Anne St. George said by taking the time to read, parents are helping kids fall in love with reading.
Research shows that being read to daily is beneficial for young people. Reading aloud with children of all ages — even after they can read — helps to influence their future attitudes toward reading and turn them into lifelong learners. It creates a positive bond between parents/caregivers and their children.
The social media campaign launched in 2017 to promote the value and need for reading aloud to children of all ages, including babies. For the past two years, people were invited to help nurture the love that grows with reading on Valentine’s Day and every day. St. George said the time to start reading to little ones is even earlier — during pregnancy.
“Reading aloud for just 15 minutes a day to children of all ages from the day they are born can bring about a lifetime of love for books and reading,” she said. “Reading to babies and smaller children helps with language development and word recognition, and develops a strong parent-child bond; however, reading to little ones even earlier — while in the womb where early language learning begins — has many of these same benefits to an unborn baby. It helps to set the foundation for life.”
Graduate students and faculty from the literacy teacher education program at Warner are organizing an event that will bring high school students in the Teaching and Learning Institute at East Upper School to Audubon School No. 33 on Feb. 13 to help celebrate the 100th Day of School, and to read books to elementary students.