Early childhood reading is the focus of a policy released this week by the Council on Early Childhood, American Academy of Pediatrics, described in an article by Amy Joyce in the Washington Post.
The guidelines say reading aloud regularly helps develop the brain and "strengthens parent-child relationships at a critical time in child development, which, in turn, builds language, literacy, and social-emotional skills that last a lifetime." Part of the program includes recommendations on funding for children's books in insurance programs. The AAP has long proposed that "programs that invest in children at the earliest ages have the highest rates of return."
Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children and the Grand Lodge of Texas have partnered for years to help Masons spread the word about the importance of early reading through their Take Time to Read program. When children leave the hospital after a visit they usually go home with a free book discovered in the Center for Dyslexia, Family Resource Center or a waiting room.