"In between dispensing advice on breast-feeding and immunizations, doctors will tell parents to read aloud to their infants from birth, under a new policy that the American Academy of Pediatrics will announce on Tuesday."
All I can say is, "What took them so long?" We have known for years (if not more than a century) about the importance and the benefits of reading aloud. Study after study has confirmed the impact of reading aloud on vocabulary acquisition (College Girl knew the word "splendiferous" because of our reading aloud time; she could also recite many books from memory) and reading attitude and reading comprehension.
Two weeks ago, I did a 3 hour presentation on reading aloud to a group of educators at Region XV in San Angelo, Texas. You can see the power point here: www.slideshare.net/professornana. As I was putting this together, I was actually a little surprised myself at all of the benefits, the research, the impact of this simple act.
I am reading a book with my ears on my commute this week. Audiobooks are muich like reading aloud, I think. A skilled reader is sharing the book with me. Right now I am listening to THE HIDING PLACE by Corrie Ten Boom. It is one of the FREE audiobooks this summer from YASync (www.audiobooksync.com). How did I miss this book when it first published? No matter, I am hearing it now and am so moved by the story, by the matter-of-fact courage of Corrie and her family who put their own lives at risk. Their faith, their determination, their perseverance is a story that resonates with me deeply.
So, I take heart in the announcement about reading to children from birth. Instead of worrying that is comes late, I rejoice that it has come. I hope that it begins a new and stronger practice of this essential and yet simple act of reading aloud to ALL kids no matter their age or ability.