Twenty Minutes Can Change the World!

February 21, 2014 07:59 by Andy

Did You Know...

1.  More learning happens in our first five years of life than during any other period of our lives.

2.  Children learn - or don't learn - the skills they need to become literate during these first five years.

3.  Literacy is more than just learning how to read.  It is learning how to understand, comprehend, compute, rationalize, analyze, decide, weigh options, problem solve, create, and learn more.

4.  The literacy level of a child in kindergarten is an accurate predictor of that child's future path.

5.  Literacy is what children need to fulfill a lifetime of potential.

6.  Some skills learned during the first five years - such as learning to talk - tend to happen naturally.  However, literacy takes deliberate training and effort.

7.  While literacy takes deliberate action, it does not demand a high tech or expensive solution.  It just takes time and it just takes words.

8.  There is a wide range in the number of words young children hear.  Research has shown that some kids are exposed to 3 million words during their first four years, and others hear 11 million words.  The higher word count correlates with higher literacy in school.  Word count matters!

9.  Research also proves that one of the most effective, impactful activities to develop literacy is the act of reading to a child 20 minutes every day.

10.  Any reading is helpful.  But reading with a child while asking questions - and stimulating a dialog with the child - develops their understanding of books and words, stimulates their curiosity and creativey, and improves literacy.

So, let's get started!

  • Use positive and descriptive words when talking with a child.
  • Read books with children of all ages.
  • Encourage dialog while reading.
  • For preschoolers, ask questions about words and pictures.
  • For school age children, take turns reading, and talk about the story.

Words matter!