Tips for inspiring young readers

Published 7:00 pm Monday, May 7, 2012

(ARA) – It’s never too early – or too late – to help your child discover the joy of reading. In fact, reading aloud to your child helps build important vocabulary and language skills that last a lifetime. Despite the considerable evidence of a relationship between reading regularly to a child and that child’s later reading development, six out of 10 babies and five out of 10 toddlers are not read to regularly by parents or family members.

Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) and the Buddig Be A Reader campaign offer scores of activities, tips and resources for raising readers of every age:

* Start reading to your children when they are very small and make this time together a special time without everyday distractions. Continue reading aloud to children even after they’re reading on their own.

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* Choose books carefully and ask your kids what they like and don’t like. Your children’s input will help you guide them to good books.

* Consider books with big, bright colorful illustrations and pictures of familiar objects for infants or very young toddlers. Preschoolers like playful animals, both real and imaginary. Add “how-to” and craft books for young readers ages 6 to 11.

* Encourage your child to read aloud to younger brothers, sisters, family members or friends.

* Make a commitment to read aloud at least once a day. Even 15 minutes of daily reading can make a big difference in your child’s reading comprehension and literacy development.

* Set a good example by reading frequently and sharing your enthusiasm for reading. Talk about the books you read and your favorite authors.

* Set up a home library. A few books on a special shelf are a great start to building a book collection your child will treasure for years.

* Visit your local library, bookstores, yard sales and thrift stores to find good books new and old to read together. Not sure what book is right for your child’s age group or reading level? The American Library Association and the Library of Congress publish lists of recommended books to guide parents in making selections.

* Check out RIF’s monthly activities calendars for engaging reading and writing activities in English and Spanish and get reading.

* Visit the RIF Reading Planet for games and interactive activities your child will love to enjoy at home or on-the-go.

* Help give underserved kids a head start by donating to the Be A Reader Virtual Book Drive. Visit to make a donation of $5 or $10 and you’ll receive a coupon from Buddig lunchmeats. Larger donations could earn you an insulated lunch bag or backpack. Funds raised through the Be A Reader Virtual Book Drive will be used to purchase new books for children living in poverty.

During the yearlong Be A Reader campaign, parents and their children are encouraged to create their own reading and literacy experiences wherever they may be. To help nourish young minds, Carl Buddig & Company is partnering with RIF to raise a minimum of $100,000 for children’s literacy programs. For more information about the Be A Reader campaign visit For additional tips to help your child discover the joy of reading, visit