Get ready to read! March is National Reading Month, and children across America will kick off the month-long celebration starting Tuesday, March 2 - National Read Across America Day. Whether you’re planning one big Read Across America Day celebration or activities throughout the month of March, the celebration is designed to encourage families and children to spend more time reading and make reading a part of everyday moments with children all year long.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused much stress and disruption to families with young children, including interruptions to daily routines at home and attendance at early care and education programs. Encouraging families to make reading with children a part of their daily lives is a valuable activity for ensuring that children’s learning and development continue to be supported during difficult times. National Reading Month is an opportunity to remind families how reading can be a wonderful way to unwind, have fun and interact with children. Each time parents or caregivers spend time reading books with children, the architecture of their brains is strengthened.
6 Reasons to Promote “National Reading Month” with Families
- A baby’s brain is ready to learn at birth! Read early. Surrounding children with words supports language development and a love for books.
- Young children’s brains make 1 million neural connections every single second! Positive interactions with a child like talking, reading, singing, dancing and playing help a child’s brain grow stronger and stronger.
- Everyday experiences build the brain’s architecture. *Every time a parent reads or tells a story, connections are happening in the brain, which is helping the child learn now while also building a foundation for later learning.
- Back-and-forth moments while reading with a child – using words, pointing, asking questions, answering questions – strengthens the child’s growing brain and their bond with parents.
- Celebrate culture and diversity with books! Parents play an important role in teaching children to value differences. Expose your child to a wide variety of books, including books that celebrate cultures, diversity and embracing others.
- Make reading and sharing stories a part of everyday routines – quiet time; riding in a car, bus or train; read signs while on a walk or boxes while shopping; at bedtime and more.
Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) will be sharing tips and resources for families and educators that encourage parent-child interactions, brain development and early literacy skills throughout National Reading Month from initiatives like Vroom® and Mind in the Making. Vroom is a global early learning initiative that empowers parents, families and early childhood educators to turn everyday moments with children, like bath time and mealtime, into brain-building moments through science-based tips for children birth to five. Mind in the Making also shares the science of children’s learning through training and resources that focus on essential life skills that help children thrive.
How CCR&Rs Can Celebrate National Reading Month Virtually with Families and Educators
Parents have busy lives and finding time to read every day with children may seem challenging. CCAoA has listed fun, simple ideas for building children’s brains with books and other early literacy experiences during daily moments and routines. CCR&R agencies are encouraged to share these tips and resources with families and with early childhood programs to engage families and help grow an enthusiasm for reading!
- Share the Vroom Tip™ Read to Me on your agency’s social media channels.
- Include hashtags on social media posts such as #WeAreBrainBuilders, #GrowYoungBrains, #ReadAcrossAmericaDay, #NationalReadingMonth.
- Share free, downloadable book tips from Mind in the Making. MITM book tips are based on books that promote life skills and encourage engagement between children and adults.
- Download and share other Vroom Tips™ that encourage reading, storytelling and early literacy skills. Share tips such as Food Rhymes, Read to Me, Bathtime Stories, Word of the Day, Shopping List Scribble and more to encourage simple ways to fit literacy experiences into everyday moments.
- For more activity ideas to celebrate one big reading event or get involved in year-round reading fun, visit http://readacrossamerica.org/event-ideas/.
- Vroom Tip Videos are great ways to see real-life examples of brain-building in action! Share these videos - At the Library, Fun with Stories and Picture Detective.
- Share other free brain building resources with your local child care programs and families.
- Let everyone know they already have what it takes to be a brain builder with this short video.
- Encourage families to download the Daily Vroom App on iOS or Android devices for access to over 1,000 brain building tips or explore tips online.
- To help find free or low-cost books for schools and programs serving families or to access online stories, check out these resources.
- Looking for ideas on how to celebrate reading virtually? Click here for 9 Ideas for (Virtually) Celebrating National Education Association’s Read Across America.
The joy of reading starts early. Reading with children from birth and beyond helps to build a strong foundation for lifelong learning and will take them places in life! Margaret Fuller once said, "Today a reader, tomorrow a leader."
CCAoA looks forward to celebrating National Reading Month with you beginning with Read Across America Day on March 2, 2021!