The American Academy of Pediatrics announced new guidelines on early literacy
Doctors should encourage parents to read out loud to infants and children, group says
Research: Low-income children hear fewer words than kids from higher-income families
President Barack Obama touted importance of reading out loud in new video
It’s hard to keep up with so many statistics about modern parenting, but here’s one that floored me when I heard it a few years ago: By 4, children living in poverty hear 30 million fewer words than children in higher income households, according to researchers.
That is horrendous, but it gets worse: Hearing fewer words leads to learning fewer words, which means children start kindergarten with smaller vocabularies and a so-called “word gap.” Often, they can’t catch up when it comes to academic readiness and long-term achievement, studies have found.
This week, the American Academy of Pediatrics announced new guidelines that encourage doctors to talk to parents not just about nutrition and illnesses but about the importance of reading out loud, singing and talking during an infant’s first days.