Building Brains with Books! Kick off National Reading Month on March 2

February 26, 2021

reading book national reading monthGet 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!

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!

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Topics: Family & Community Engagement

Kandi Novak

Written by Kandi Novak

Kandi Novak is the Technical Assistance Specialist for the Vroom Partnership initiative at Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA). Her work focuses on providing technical assistance and training to child care resource and referral agencies on integrating science-based resources and tools that promote early brain development into their outreach and services to families, child care programs, and community partners. Kandi brings experience in child care resource and referral, early childhood mental health, and early childhood education along with a BA in Psychology and a MA in Human Development and Family Studies.