Father reading aloud to son

Reading Aloud Is Key in Child Literacy Development

The American Academy of Pediatrics issued its first-ever policy statement focused on literacy promotion in the summer of 2014. Their statement calls for pediatricians to advise parents about the benefits of reading aloud to their children, which promotes literacy and social-emotional skills.

Dr. Megan Gruesser, pediatrician at Community Physician Network, says that this statement comes as no surprise.

"In our fast-paced world filled with high tech gadgets, it's easy for parents to pass their cell phone or tablet off to their child to keep him or her entertained," said Gruesser. "But is the child really learning anything? Are the parents really bonding with their little one?"

According to Gruesser, the best way to promote language and literacy skills in your child is to sit down and read a book together.

"The AAP recommends daily reading to children in their infant, toddler and preschool years," she said. "This will promote better language skills and school readiness. In addition, reading together helps both the parent and child create a closer, more nurturing relationship."

So what is Gruesser's recommendation?

"Put down the electronics, pick up a book and have fun reading with your child!"

Need a book?

If your access to age appropriate books is limited, stop by your local library, or speak with your pediatrician about resources that provide free books.