Twitter chat: How important is early childhood reading?

BY Nora Daly  June 25, 2014 at 6:55 PM EST
Photo courtesy of Flickr user Donnie Ray Jones

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Donnie Ray Jones

Is there any benefit in reading to a child who is not yet talking? The American Academy of Pediatrics says “yes.”

The organization’s AAP Literacy Promotion’s official policy on literacy promotion encourages parents to begin reading to children in infancy. The practice helps stimulate brain development and strengthen the bond between parent and child. Included in the AAP’s policy are recommendations for pediatricians, child advocacy organizations and policy makers on how best to close the gap in early childhood reading practices between advantaged and low-income families, and how best to incorporate literacy promotion into pediatric medical education.

PBS NewsHour hosted a Twitter chat in order to delve more deeply into this topic. Our guests included AAP pediatrician Dr. Dipesh Navsaria, tweeting as @navsaria, nonprofit organization Too Small to Fail, tweeting as @2SmallToFail and Maggie McGuire, vice president of Scholastic’s Kids and Parents channels, tweeting as @Scholastic.

Representatives of Reach Out and Read (@reachoutandread) and the Clinton Foundation (@ClintonFdn) also participated.