Editorial: Take the time to read with a child

Published 9:59 am Thursday, February 2, 2017

February is I Love to Read Month, and as promoters of the written word, we applaud the people and organizations throughout the community who encourage children and adults to read.

Research shows that reading skills are not only important to a child’s success in school, but also to their success later in life at work and in society. The statistics about reading are sobering.

According to the National Children’s Reading Foundation and other research, 78 percent of juvenile crime across the country is committed by high school dropouts, and half of the youth with a history of substance abuse have reading problems.

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Want your child to stay away from crime and drugs when they get older? It appears a love of reading can be a start to prevention.

If reading is not already a part of your family’s lifestyle, consider these tips:

• Start with turning off the TV.

• Take a simple 15 or 20 minutes a day, and sit down and read together.

Reading not only expands vocabulary and knowledge but can also open the door to imagination. It can be a great way to bond with your child.

• When you’re not reading together, let your child see that you enjoy reading on your own — whether it be a newspaper, magazine or book.

According to a study by Pew Research Center in 2014, 76 percent of American adults 18 and older said they read at least one book in the past year.

While that means the majority of adults are reading — at least a little — on the flip side that means 24 percent of adults have not read a single book in the last 12 months.

Though we may all be busy, we must make it a priority. Let your child see that reading is fun and enjoyable. More than likely, they will try it out, too.