MRI Shows Brain Activity Related to Early Reading Exposure

We have been promoting daily reading with young children for over a decade through the benlons21Turn a Page. Touch a Mind.® (TAP-TAM) program because of the large amount research linking young children who are read to often to school success. This research has shown that reading to babies and children often has benefits like bonding with care givers, consistent bed time routines, larger vocabularies, and the early literacy skills needed to learn to read on time.

The case for reading with young children was strengthened this week when the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a report that showed actual differences in brain activity for children who are read to. While this is not particularly surprising for those of us that have read the studies linking early literacy exposure to later success, it is exciting because it shows what is happening to a child when they are read to, and why reading should happen every day.

“We are excited to show, for the first time, that reading exposure during the critical stage of development prior to kindergarten seems to have a meaningful, measurable impact on how a child’s brain processes stories and may help predict reading success,” said
study author John Hutton, M.D., National Research Service Award Fellow, Division of General and Community Pediatrics, Reading and Literacy Discovery Center, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Read with the special children in your life often. Read because they love getting snuggled on your lap and getting your undivided attention. Read because you are not only creating important connections in that child’s developing brain, but because you are building memories, both of which will last a lifetime.

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