Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Do You Read to Your Children?

Jen Robinson over at Jen Robinson's Book Page posted a link to an article yesterday with a startling statistic from a study conducted by Reach Out and Read indicating that 52 percent of children under the age of six are not being read to on a daily basis. As a mom who still reads to my children most nights I find this statistic astonishing. This is one of my favorite times of day, and judging by their dismay on nights when we don't read I would say one of theirs as well. It's no secret that I'm a voracious reader so you can imagine it is important to me that my children also enjoy books. That 52 percent of children aren't being read to on a regular basis begs the question how do we make parents realize the importance of reading aloud? This is the question that is being discussed over at Jen's. I don't think there is any one answer. In our marketing driven culture children's picture books don't market very well, unfortunately. My 7yo dd had her well child appointment yesterday and one of the medical history questions the nurse took was how much TV she watches on average per week. Not a mention of how many hours on average she is read to. Maybe there is an answer in that....Perhaps a humorous PSA during major sporting events. We have to make parents realize what a rich opportunity they are missing in not sitting down with their kids, no TV, no console, no handheld game and reading for just 15 minutes. The joy of visiting other lands, of snuggling up close to one another, of getting to know each other a little bit better.

I think many of the efforts currently under way preach to the choir, so to speak. I've seen spots on PBS, but I would venture to guess the vast majority of PBS watchers are already reading aloud to their children. Our local library hosts events. Again, any parent who is frequenting the library is probably already reading aloud to their kids.

Any ideas?? I'd love to hear them. I also encourage you to visit Jen's site and post your thoughts in her comments.

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