The Amazing Flight of Little Ray
April 2018 by V. R. Duin


And when Little Ray heard their words,
He came to his senses and thought about birds.
Under their feathers, they had to have skin.
If so, Little Ray's fight was about to begin!
(“The Amazing Flight of Little Ray”)

Those who pay reading forward help children achieve success at school.

The Cincinnati Children's Reading and Literacy Discovery Center has been studying the power of picture books. Their 2018 study of 27 children of about age four showed the importance of visuals for children's early development and learning. It found a reading voice alone is not captivating for children. Viewing animated stories on screens offers no time for children to think. Reading aloud with pictures engages thought and builds imagination.

Children, who enjoy reading, have a better chance of developing literacy skills. The closeness that develops between an adult reading to a child is warm and engaging. It is reassuring. Children can read any distraction and disinterest in adults. The frustrations of work and screen time are contagious. The expressionless attention of an adult staring into a digital device is distancing. Children watch adults for guidance. The simple act of reading a picture book connects children with the adults in their lives. It removes the overload of screen time. Reading helps a child concentrate and develop skills.

Few children from disadvantaged backgrounds receive reading attention. Parents, older siblings or other adults in their lives may not understand the importance of reading aloud to children. As a result, these unenlightened individuals may not pay reading forward. Due to a lack of reading history, disadvantaged children may begin school without a strong foundation for educational success. The ability to read, learn and comprehend written content can help children achieve success at school, at work and at home in our communities.

As non-readers continue to fall behind in school, they may become discouraged. These children are likely to drop out of school and take to the streets. Parents who read aloud to their children help to raise reading rates by creating a positive association with books, reading and learning. Reading for pleasure and for success is likely to remain with these children throughout their adult lives. Throughout their lives, reading can help individuals meet the accelerating change with independent study and the development of new skills. Reading mentors may raise reading rates for generations to come.

Facts About Children's Literacy showed that reading to children at home can improve literacy and numeracy. Households with the greatest number of books in their homes, are likely to meet with greater success in school testing. Early reading develops thought and imagination. During the first year of life, a child's brain doubles in size. The poser of picture books is important for the first five years of a child's early development and learning. Early reading stimulates attention, memory and focus.

At schools where parental involvement is low, the success rate plummets. During reading, children learn about the outside world and expand their vocabularies. Reading also helps children learn how to extract useful information from texts. There is a nice challenge in reflecting on a story and connecting it to real life. A child learns the benefits of joint learning from story time with adults at home. We encourage everyone to pay reading forward. Reading books at home can help children achieve success at school, at work and at home in our communities.

At school, children may be taught conformity. They may be forced to study a lot of subjects they may never use or find any need to know. Some students and some employers may place a premium on a degree in soft skills, like history, philosophy or the fine arts. Soft skills get an early start with cozy reads during childhood. As a bonus, there is an example of focus and stimulus in developing the mind of a child. The inquiring mind is set on the path to study and complete any and all studies, including those for highly-specialized technical and professional fields.

Reading helps spelling, writing and thinking. The magic of reading aloud to a child combines warmth, sight and sound. Once children determine reading is fun and interesting, it creates a habit for reading and study. This makes it easier to move forward with additional marketable skills. When children develop a passion, it may become central to their quest for greater knowledge. The early development and learning process starts when books are read to children. It sets the stage for the future development of sophisticated skills and dynamic achievement gains. These skills improve opportunities throughout life.

Basic literacy is an important life skill. Having books to read at home enriches language exposure. It strengthens school readiness. It forms a positive association with books and reading. Reading aloud to children may hook reluctant readers on the interesting and fun aspects of books. Children, who are glued to electronic devices, are disconnected from the learning process. They do not develop the collaborative attention for others. Connections in the real world are needed for success at school, at work and at home in our communities.

Reading provides the information, insights and viewpoints. Reading may help children reason and deal with new situations. Reading requires determined effort. Effort is required to develop intelligence and diligence. We can to raise reading rates by showing children the pleasure in reading. The shock and awe of fast-moving screen content does not allow time for participation. There is too much happening in too little time to think deeply. Reading gives time for productive thought. Reading develops the mental faculties needed to process present and future information.

If you read this article, you recognized that reading matters. You likely owe your interest in reading to an adult who read aloud to you and taught you to appreciate books at a young age. Let's work together to pay reading forward. Every child deserves an early start and a wide variety of reading materials. Exposure to interesting words and content helps pave the way for success at school, at work and at home in our communities.

Help children achieve success at school.

  • Pay reading forward Reading Rates says:

    Pay reading forward to improve educational and life opportunities for success at school, at work and at home in our communities.

  • Success at school Reading Rates says:

    Reading aloud to children and providing them with books to read at home may help them achieve success at school, where progress has been stagnant for decades.

    • Achieve Sucess at School, at Work and at HomeReading Rates says:

      Reading can help achieve success at school, at work and at home to improve educational equality and lessen the socioeconomic divisions in this country.