Early Reading Matters: Long-term Impacts of Shared Bookreading with Infants and Toddlers on Language and Literacy Outcomes

Cates, Carolyn; Weisleder, Adriana; Dreyer, Benard; Johnson, Matthew; Seery, Anne; Canfield, Caitlin F.; Berkule Johnson, Samantha; and Mendelsohn, Alan L. Reading with children starting in infancy gives lasting literacy boost: Shared book-reading that begins soon after birth may translate into higher language and vocabulary skills before elementary school. (May 2017) American Academy of Pediatrics.

This research study shows that reading books with a child beginning in early infancy can boost vocabulary and reading skills four years later, before the start of elementary school. Book-reading quality during early infancy, in particular, predicted early reading skills while book-reading quantity and quality during toddler years appeared strongly tied to later emergent literacy skills, such as name-writing at age 4. The results highlight the importance of parenting programs used in pediatric primary care that promote shared book-reading soon after birth, such as Read Out and Read.

"To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark." — Victor Hugo, Les Miserables