Raising a Reader

SUBMITTED BY AMY BILLINGS, YOUTH SERVICES

Experts agree that parents should start reading to their children soon after birth. Why read to a baby? While a child is born with most of the brain cells, called neurons, that he needs, it is the connections and pathways between those cells that grow at a phenomenal rate during the first years of life. According to the Harvard University Center for the Developing Child, neural connections are made at a rate of 700 per second during this time.

Reading with babies a perfect way to support this brain growth. Reading together provides physical closeness and helps develop the pathways involving vision and language acquisition. Hearing more words from adults increases a baby’s exposure to varied vocabulary and general knowledge. Reading to your child is an activity that actually changes the architecture of her brain!