Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Literacy crisis: Pediatricians enlist to prod parents to read to kids

Family Literacy
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Literacy crisis: Pediatricians enlist to prod parents to read to kids
The Clinton Foundation's Too Small to Fail is joining forces with pediatricians and others in a literacy push aimed at low-income families: prescribed reading.
Christian Science Monitor: 6.24.2014 by Amanda Paulson

Many parents may know it’s good to read to their babies and young children, but far too few do it regularly, say early-childhood development activists.

A new collaboration between several groups – including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which on Tuesday released its first-ever policy paper on early literacy – is trying to disseminate more information about the importance of reading out loud, as well as about the tools to do so.

“Only about half of parents of young children are actually reading to their children from the earliest days of their children’s lives,” says Ann O’Leary, director of Too Small to Fail, an early-childhood initiative of the Clinton Foundation and Next Generation. “It would be shocking if you said only half of parents are feeding their children, or putting them to sleep, but we know that [reading and singing to children] are just as important. They’re critical to brain development and language development and have a lifelong impact on health.”

On Tuesday morning, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is set to announce the new collaboration – between Too Small to Fail, the AAP, Scholastic Inc., and Reach Out and Read – at the Clinton Global Initiative America meeting in Denver.

The initiative is aimed particularly at low-income families, who are the least likely to read regularly to children or to have access to books, and seeks to reach families largely through pediatricians. READ MORE !

From the American Academy of Pediatrics
Policy Statement
Council on Early Childhood

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