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The importance of reading to your child

Brene Belew-LaDue, Director of Grand County Public Health, is reading to Harry Banks.

Brene Belew-LaDue, Director of Grand County Public Health, is reading to Harry Banks.

Some of our fondest memories as a child is having our favorite book read to us. Books allow us to experience another world and travel to many wonderful places. Recent research has shown that reading aloud to your child helps prepare children for success in school.

Babies are soothed by their parent’s voices and toddlers can be prepared for a life of reading by parents asking questions as they read and building conversational skills. Snuggling with your child on a daily basis builds strong emotional bonds that will last a lifetime.

When you spend time reading to toddlers, they’ll be much more likely to express themselves and relate to others in a healthy way. By witnessing the interactions between the characters in the books your child is gaining valuable communication and problem solving skills.

Books have the power to benefit babies, toddlers and preschoolers in many ways. As a parent, reading to your child is one of the most important things you can do to prepare him with a foundation for academic excellence.

Make reading aloud part of your nighttime routine. Learning to love books is the best gift you can give your child.

The Grand County Public Health department participates in a program called Reach Out and Read. This program provides free books to children birth through 5-years-old. When a child visits the clinic, an age appropriate book is given to the family. Parents are offered information about developmental milestones and literacy. Reach Out and Read is a nonprofit organization that gives young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together. The program partners with more than 5,500 program sites in the United States and distributes 6.5 million books per year.

Last year, the Public Health department distributed 196 books to Grand County children.  

Make reading aloud part of your nighttime routine. Learning to love books is the best gift you can give your child.

Cathy Raible RN, M.Ed is a Grand County Preschool Nurse Consultant.