Importance of Reading Together

Sandra K. Daves, Ed.D, is the principal of an elementary school in Central Florida and has been an educator for over 30 years. She is an early childhood education specialist who reads to children daily.

How Did Grandma Know it was

Important to Read to Children?

The magic of being read to is that you don't even know you're learning. I am eternally grateful for the intangible gifts being read to has given to me and I will pass them on to every child who will sit still to listen (and even to those who won't). My wish is that every child has someone who will read to them. Internet access, computer programs and educational toys and games are useful learning tools but will never be as valuable as the human contact provided by time spent reading to a child.

It's easy for me to tell which of my students have been read to regularly. They love stories and are excited about learning. They are familiar with language and they know lots of "stuff". The significance of reading to children is highlighted in the following letter:

Dear Grandma,

I can't thank you enough for reading to me as a child. How did you know I would learn so much and that I would be a better person because of the time we spent together sharing stories?

I miss your soft touch and quiet voice. My fondest memories include sitting close to you discussing the wonders of the world.

I learned about language, spelling, grammar and how words are pronounced. I learned about punctuation and still giggle when I come to a stop dot. I learned that letters are combined to create words, words link together to express thoughts and thoughts can be written down. Because of this, I could read before I started school.

I am a life-long learner because you piqued my curiosity and whetted my appetite for knowing. I can bake a pie, ride a horse, make change and recite poetry. I know why the sky is blue, how a quilt is made and the difference between right and wrong. We visited castles, climbed mountains and explored jungles without ever leaving our chair. The books, poems, recipes, maps and stories we shared exposed me to a lot of important "stuff", critical information that formed the bases of everything that I know today.

Thank you, Grandma for sharing books for all seasons.


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