“One in five 15 year olds in the European Union cannot read properly”
EU Commission for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth
“13 million children in the US will not hear a bedtime story tonight”
Read Aloud 15 MINUTES, a non-profit organization that is working to make reading aloud every day for at least 15 minutes the new standard in child care.
When every child is read aloud to for 15 minutes every day from birth, more children will be ready to learn when they enter kindergarten, more children will have the literacy skills needed to succeed in school, and more children will be prepared for a productive and meaningful life after school.
Reading aloud is the single most important thing a parent or caregiver can do to improve a child’s readiness to read and learn.
By making 15 minutes of daily reading aloud the new parenting standard, we will change the face of education in Europe, the US and around the world. It seems easy enough, but we all know how books and reading have been getting more and more competition from television and other electronic media, and life has gotten busier and more complicated, leaving less quality time for parents and children to enjoy together.
Unfortunately, many parents and caregivers aren’t aware of the power of 15 minutes of daily reading aloud. Here are some benefits:
Some children begin kindergarten having been read to as few as 25 hours, while their peers may have been read to as many as 1,000 hours. Every time you read to your child you are improving their learning advantage.
By age four, low-income children have heard an average 32 million fewer words than their wealthy peers. Reading aloud is a key way to introduce new vocabulary.
Even in higher-income households, nearly 40% of families do not read aloud every day.
If a child is not reading at grade level by the end of the first grade, then there is an 88% probability the child will not be reading at grade level by the end of the fourth grade.
Reading aloud can easily become part of a family’s daily routine. Read with children before bedtime or naptime or after mealtime. Make it fun! Don’t forget funny voices, sound effects, acting out parts of the story, and asking lots of questions. Even a very young child can look at pictures, practice turning the pages, and hear you talk about the story.
Remember: A child is never too young to learn that books are fun, engaging, and something that your family values.
Join the 15 Minute Movement today!
As the research and experience of reading families, kindergartens and schools confirm, daily reading aloud to children for pleasure:
- satisfies their essential emotional needs- for love, attention, stimulation etc.
- creates strong bonds between reading adults and children
- supports psychological development of a child
- raises self-esteem
- teaches language, builds up the vocabulary, enables fluency of speech
- prepares for independent reading and writing
- teaches independent thinking skills – logical, cause and effect and critical thinking
- fosters imagination
- improves concentration, brings calm
- exercises memory
- brings vast general knowledge
- facilitates learning and helps to achieve success at school
- teaches them values and recognizing the difference between good and evil, develops moral sensitivity
- develops sense of humour
- is a great pastime
- protects them from getting addicted to television or computers
- is a healthy escape from boredom, failure and problems
- protects them from the dangers of mass culture
- prevents antisocial behavior
- creates the lifelong habit of reading and searching for knowledge