Growing a reader from the very beginning

Every year throughout the month of March, classrooms across the nation host reading events for elementary school children. But early literacy starts way before a child reaches a classroom. It begins before babies can talk and continues as they become toddlers and preschoolers. In fact, studies have linked the number of words children know at ages 3 and 4 to their reading comprehension levels in third and fourth grade. Reading daily with children starting at birth helps them learn new words.

When babies hear words and language, their brains develop important connections needed to learn how to read. Sharing books with your baby is an important way to bring them new and unusual words, and it’s also a great opportunity to build a strong and healthy relationship between parent and child, which is what your baby needs most.Read On Arizona: Smart Talk

More great resources to help you grow a love of reading in your young child can be found through Read On Arizona, a First Things First partner that works across Arizona to support early literacy for kids birth to 8 years old.

Smart Talk encourages parents to have quality back-and-forth conversations with your baby during everyday moments, such as meal time, baths and diaper changes. Though babies can’t talk, they can still communicate – through eye contact, facial expressions, smiles and crying.

Related posts

Reading with your child helps build important life skills
Babies benefit from play time
First Things First logo In child development, conversation is the golden nugget
Early childhood brain development has lifelong impact
Complete archive of First Things First posts

Learn more

First Things First has information and resources to help parents and caregivers support the healthy development of young children.

Sponsor message:

Sponsor message:

Sign up to receive the Arizona PBS Insider

Get up-to-the-minute information about your favorite programs and learn more about Arizona PBS news and events.

'Van Der Valk' solves baffling crimes in Amsterdam

Set in Amsterdam, new series "Van Der Valk" follows the work of Commisaris Van der Valk (played by Marc Warren), a street-smart and unapologetic Dutch detective who navigates the lively and enigmatic city, solving mysterious crimes using astute human observation and inspired detection.

'PBS KIDS Talk About: Race and Racism' special to debut on Oct. 9

The half-hour program will feature authentic conversations between real children and their parents, and will include content from PBS KIDS series Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Arthur and Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum.

Nova: "How Writing Changed the World"

"Nova" explores new discoveries and how we have come this far on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on Arizona PBS.