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Reading is the Road to Success
Research has shown that reading proficiently by the end of third grade is a major milestone on a child's path to graduation. This is the time when children make the critical transition from learning to read to reading to learn.1 Parents and caring adults are essential when it comes to strengthening a child's reading skills and nurturing a love of reading outside of the classroom.
One of the easiest and most effective ways parents and caring adults can promote literacy is to read with children regularly. Words are everywhere - in newspapers, street signs, buildings and music, so it's easier than you think to make reading fun and a part of your everyday lifestyle.
In fact, as a part of the all-new Target Read With MeSM initiative, which aims to help more U.S. children read proficiently by the end of third grade, Target and the Search Institute have teamed up to provide you some easy tips to engage children in reading throughout your busy day.
Bring Out the Books. Why keep kids' books tucked away in their rooms? Make them visible and easily accessible, so there's always encouragement to read. Reserve a low shelf in the pantry, or make a basket full of books your kitchen table centerpiece. Each time you read aloud together, you nourish your kids' growing minds. Studies have shown that preschoolers who have frequent read-aloud time with their parents have stronger language skills later in life - including higher reading, spelling and IQ scores at age 13.
Hit the Library. Show your kids that reading is a priority in your family by including the library on your list of errands. Keep a book bag in the car so it's easy to carry new books and return the old. Kids will love the chance to make their own decisions by choosing books that interest them. Studies show that when kids have fun reading books that match their reading levels and interests, they become better readers. They'll be excited to tell you who invented bubble gum or how fast the fastest car goes.
Family Reading Night. Instead of family movie night, make family activities more engaging and educational by reading to your child. Allow your child to pick a favorite book that you can read together and engage your little one by describing all of the pictures that are on each page. By reading together, you and your child will learn and discover new books and subjects. Making reading time a regular family activity communicates the importance - and the fun - of reading.
For more fun tips on making reading with a child a part of your every day life, log on to www.target.com/reading. The website highlights additional helpful reading tips, fun reading activities, and more. On the site, you can also take part in the Target Read With Me pledge - which invites parents and caring adults to commit to a regular reading schedule with a child. For every pledge made, Target will donate a book to children in need. To learn more, log on to www.target.com/reading.
1 Citation: Annie E. Casey Foundation, "EARLY WARNING! Why Reading By The End of Third Grade Matters," page 9 - 2010.