Experts share the benefits of reading to a child from birth


COLUMBUS, Ohio- Dr. William Knobeloch with the Ohio Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics joins 10TV's Karina Nova to discuss the literacy issue many children face when they start school.


According to the National Center for Education Statistics:

  • In America 1 in 3 children do not have the basic literacy skills to be successful when they enter kindergarten. However, 85% of children have the ability to read on their grade level.
  • 1 in 6 children who are not reading proficiently in 3rd grade do not graduate from high school a rate 4 times greater than that for proficient readers.
  • Children with even 25 books in the home complete an average of 2 more years of schooling than those with no books.
  • 48% of children under 5 in the US are read to each day

Psychological and Developmental Benefits of Reading to a Child from Birth

  • Parents are their child’s first and best teacher. Reading aloud is widely recognized as the single most important activity in helping children begin to learn to read. It is a great way for them to exercise his or her brain and develop skills that are useful in every area of life.
  • In the first few years of life, a child’s brain builds 700 connections per second and 95% of brain development occurs between birth and 5 years old. Reading to children even babies can help with lifelong success.
  • Reading in combination with talking, playing, and singing is the best way to increase the number of words a child hears and learns in the early years.
  • The book is a vehicle for assessing how well a child is doing developmentally. It also can be a vehicle for assessing the relationship between parent and child. How comfortable is that child sitting in the parent’s lap and sharing that book together? If it doesn’t appear comfortable, it’s an opportunity to perhaps model how to do it and show how much fun it can be.

Tips on How to Make Reading Fun as a Family

The Ohio Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics has a long history of supporting Early Literacy as a part of pediatric care and childhood health.

  • Reading with your child can be fun and easy! Use funny voices and animal noises. Do not be afraid to ham it up! This will help your child get excited about the story.
  • If your child asks a question, stop and answer it. The book may help your child express thoughts and feelings, and help learn to solve their own problems.
  • Ensure reading together happens by making it part of your regular routine, at bedtime, before or after naps.
  • Public libraries are a great source for free access to books and other reading activities.
  • Families may find free books online through apps, including on Amazon.
  • Many families may qualify to have a book mailed to them through the Imagination Library families can check eligibility and register at