How to get kids reading and why it’s important

BARRY’S BAY– Reading is a critical life skill which opens up doors of opportunity. When this skill is not developed, barriers to learning and employment are increased. It is important for parents to teach this skill to their kids early in life so that they can develop positive lifelong reading habits.

Karen Filipkowski, CEO and Head Librarian at the Madawaska Valley Public Library, said in an email interview with The Valley Gazette, “There is a substantial amount of research that shows early reading gives children a greater chance of success in life, no matter the vocation they choose, as reading gives us the ability to learn.”

Filipkowski adds “It is also a wonderful source for entertainment, learning, exploring and social development.”

In the article Why Reading Aloud to Kids Helps Them Thrive, Deborah Farmer Kris supports Filipkowski’s statement that reading aids in social development. Kris is a writer, teacher, parent educator, and school administrator. She said “…reading also strengthens children’s social, emotional, and character development. According to a recently published study, reading to very young children is linked to decreased levels of aggression, hyperactivity, and attention difficulties. The study’s lead author shared this insight with The New York Times, “When parents read with their children more… they learn to use words to describe feelings that are otherwise difficult and this enables them to better control their behavior when they have challenging feelings like anger or sadness.”

It seems it is never too early to start developing a love of reading, and there are books written for every stage of development. The Madawaska Valley Head Librarian said, “There is a wide range of reading materials and formats for children. For example, board books for babies and toddlers are a great starting point. From there they will advance to picture books, story books, and chapter books.”

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