Children learn by example and instilling a love of reading in children must therefore stem from their parents. While most parents think of the words, once upon a time, as a pathway to sending their children softly off to the Sandman’s land of Nod, reading bedtime stories have a far more telling impact on their thinking and learning capacity. In fact, experts claim that reading a bedtime story to a child for 20 minutes every night could improve his or her literacy by at least 10 school days a year.
One challenge for parents is to distract their children from the glitzy allure of high tech gadgets, which spark immediate fires in a child’s imagination.
Best selling author and illustrator of children’s books, Laura Numeroff, is well known for her work, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. In collaboration with First Book, an organization that provide nooks to children in need and Sleepy’s Mattress Company, she has launched an important program called Sleepy’s Bedtime Stories.
Numeroff firmly believes that the fact that her parents read bedtime stories to her when she was a child fostered her love of reading and subsequent desire to create bedtime stories of her own. Twenty minutes every night, she claims, can greatly influence the direction of a child’s literacy goals.
The fact that reading to a child automatically enhances the use of vocabulary and knowledge is obvious, but the additional boon of aiding in the ability to think has perhaps not been considered before.
A generation of thinking children, it can only be hoped, will produce a future of more intelligent, thinking adults.
Could they make the world a better place?
Outcomes aren’t clear, but could they make things any worse?