Cleveland Clinic study: reading to babies can boost pre-school literacy

WZZM 13 (Grand Rapids, MI)
According to new research, reading books to infants can boost vocabulary and reading skills for years to come. Kimberly Giuliano, M.D., of Cleveland Clinic Children's did not take part in the study, but encourages parents to start reading to their babies as soon as possible. "It's never too early to start. If you want to read to your newborn – that's great," said Dr. Giuliano. "They get in your arms, they're comforted, they hear your voice and it's a wonderful bonding experience for parents and babies alike." Researchers monitored 250 pairs of mothers and babies for four years and found that book-reading quality during infancy was a good predictor of early-reading skills. They also found that a combination of book-reading quality and quantity during toddler years was a good predictor of literacy skills, such as name-writing, by age four.

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"Reading is not optional." —

Walter Dean Myers