The Amazing Flight of Little Ray displayed at 50% of viewport width
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”)

Pay reading forward to help children achieve success at school through early childhood education, development and learning.

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 visuals greatly aid early development and learning.

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. It builds imagination and concentration skills.

Child readers have a better chance of gaining literacy skills. The closeness that develops while reading to a child is warm and engaging. It is reassuring. Children watch adults for guidance.

Children are attuned to distraction and disinterest. Staring into a digital device is alienating. The frustrations of work and screen time are contagious. Reading removes the overload of screen time.

Few children from disadvantaged backgrounds receive reading attention. A reading history helps the ability to read, learn and comprehend written content. They may remain unenlightened.

Disadvantaged children may begin school without a strong foundation. Their families may not understand how much reading can improve educational equality and lessen socioeconomic divisions.

Non-readers fall behind in school and may become discouraged. These children may drop out of school and take to the streets. Parents who read to their children create a positive association with books, reading and learning.

Reading for pleasure and success may remain in adulthood. Reading helps meet accelerating change with independent study for development of new skills. Reading mentors may raise reading rates for generations.

Households with the greatest number of books homes may prepare children for school testing. Facts About Children's Literacy showed that reading to children at home can improve literacy and numeracy.

Early reading develops thought and imagination. Picture books are important for the first five years of a child's early childhood education. These creative materials stimulate attention, memory and focus.

Schools with low parental involvement have low success rates. Reading exposes children to the outside world and expands their vocabularies. Reading also helps them learn how to extract useful information from texts.

There are benefits of joint learning from story time with adults. Challenging contemplation and interesting discussion help to connect storied action and characters with real life.

Soft skills may get an early start with cozy reads during childhood. Focus and stimulus are provided to these developing minds. Some employers place premiums on soft skills, like history, philosophy or the fine arts.

School children may be taught conformity. They may be forced to study subjects they may never use or find any need to know. An inquiring mind must be set on track for marketable 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, they create a habit of reading and study.

Passions are central to quests for knowledge. Early development and learning starts when books are read to children. It sets the stage for sophisticated skills and dynamic achievements that improve life opportunities.

Basic literacy is a life skill. Books enrich language exposure and strengthen school readiness. Reluctant readers can be hooked on the interesting and fun aspects of books.

Real world connections are needed for success in the real world. While glued to electronic devices, children disconnect from the learning process. Distance diminishes collaborative attention and participation.

Reading provides information, insights and viewpoints. These aid reasoning and management of with new situations. Reading requires determined effort. Effort is required to develop intelligence and judgment.

The shock and awe of fast-moving screens is shallow and reactive. Too much is happening for deep thinking. Reading gives time for thought. Reading develops mental faculties needed to process information.

Readers of this article recognized that reading matters. This interest in reading likely came from an adult. Reading aloud to children teaches an 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. Reading rates can be raised by showing children the pleasure in it.