It's been proven that children who read achieve. They boast higher test scores and recognize letters and numbers more often than their peers who read less often. But getting children to crack open a book sometimes can be the tricky part for parents and teachers.
Nine years ago, the National Education Association launched the "Read Across America" program to encourage, excite and energize children to do just that.
Originally created as a one-day event to celebrate the joy of reading on March 2, the birthday of Dr. Seuss, NEA's Read Across America has grown into a nationwide initiative that promotes reading every day with more than 45 million participating annually.
"As teachers and parents, we know that kids who read - and are read to - do better in school and in life," said NEA President Reg Weaver.
NEA, the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing 2.7 million teachers and education support professionals, offers the following tips for parents on how they can promote reading year-round:
Provide encouragement. Parents play a crucial role in their children's
education. Children who report that their parents encourage them to read are more likely to read a higher volume of books than those who say that their parents leave it up to them.
Have books available to your children. Access to books is fundamental to reading success. Increasing access to print material is the most successful way to improve the reading achievement of low-income children.
Make it fun. Children who read frequently are better readers and better students. Studies and research show that students who read for fun have better reading scores.
"NEA's Read Across America provides a unique opportunity to encourage parent and child interaction to foster literacy on a large scale," Weaver said. "We remind parents, teachers, children and the community that reading is indeed fun because you're never too old, too wacky, too wild to pick up a book and read with a child."
For more information, visit www.nea.org/readacross.