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Daily interaction – talking, singing, playing and reading – is a magical time for you and your child.

Language and reading and writing skills are essential for school and life success. Research shows that it is never too early to read to your child. In fact, doctors and educators encourage parents to read to their newborns. Do not worry about what or how you read. Babies love to hear their parent’s voice and feel secure while cuddled.

Reading boosts your child’s learning potential. It stimulates brain development. Children who had parents who read to them regularly from birth are shown to have a larger vocabulary and greater math skills than other children their age.
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Take a look at these Parent Help Line Tip Sheets:
Your local public library is a great place to check out books and other resources. Most public libraries have lists of appropriate books for different stages of a child’s life. You will also find books that help you and your child face life’s challenges. Ask a librarian for suggestions.

Library associations promote and endorse several reading programs. One example is the Babies Need Words Every Day: Talk, Read, Sing Play program. The American Library Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) encourages parents to build their child’s literacy skills through their Babies Need Words Every Day booklist.
Books Before Kindergarten
The program is simple. The rewards are priceless. The goal is to read 1000 books before your child starts kindergarten. You can even read books you have already read. Use the tips below to help you and your child to enjoy the journey while reaching the goal.
Great websites for kids
Check out this website from the Association for Library Service to Children - a division of the American Library Association.  Access fun and informational sites for kids of all ages - parents, too. Explore topics about animals, science, math, history, the arts, literature, social sciences and much more.
Tips for Reading to Your Child
  1. Keep it fun and enjoyable. Change your voice. Make sounds. Laugh.
  2. Hold him while you read. Find a “comfy” place. Cuddle. Enjoy your time together.
  3. Interact with her. Explain unfamiliar words. This helps build her vocabulary. Ask questions to help build a foundation of reading comprehension.
  4. Teach him about the world, himself and others. Check out and read books written by many different authors and on many different subjects.
  5. Expose her to art. Picture books offer access to some of the world’s most talented artists, who express themselves through book illustration.
  6. Make reading a part of your daily routine. Make reading together something your child looks forward to. However, if your child wants to skip a daily reading, that’s okay too. Be flexible.
  7. Read stories over and over. It’s okay. Kids learn through repetition. Do not be surprised he asks to read the same books again and again.
  8. Do not stop reading out loud - too soon. Just because she reads on her own, do not stop reading to her out loud. A Scholastic survey found that eight in 10 children said they liked or loved being read to.

Find a list of books from the ALSC 2016 Summer Reading List for your child - birth through the 8th grade.

Look for other summer reading lists. Read to your child and encourage your child to read every day – not just during the summer.

Go to the ALSC website to find a list of notable children’s books. These books where chosen for quality, venturesome creativity, fiction, information, poetry and pictures for ages birth through age 14.

Parent Help Line does not give medical, religious or legal advice.