Reading is wonderful because it introduces your children to ideas, experiences and concepts that they might not get otherwise. It provides fuel for the imagination and the seeds of new ideas.
My children have rarely been to the doctor, except for a couple of emergency room visits. As a result, they seldom, if ever, play doctor. (Which isn’t suprising, children play what they see, their mimickers).
We received a shipment of books from UPS two days ago (always exciting!) and in it was Daisy the Doctor from the Jobs People Do Series at Usborne. My husband read it to them last night as the went to bed. It’s a simple story about Daisy Flowers and her day as a doctor.
The result? Today I heard the children walking around gathering items- “This can be to listen to the heart. This will be for our x-ray. Mom, we’re being doctors.”
This is one example of the power of reading. It introduces children to new ideas, experiences, and realities about the world. It expands their mind, literally, helping them to grow and develop, and as Oliver Wendall Holmes once said:
A mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to it’s original dimensions
Reading is a powerful way to stretch minds and expand realities- the purpose of education.
And what about imagination? Albert Einstein once said that “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”
Imagination is what drives invention, creation and progress. Without dreamers with imagination we might still be driving horse drawn carriages and sending letters by mail. Our children need to be dreamers and doers.
Let them recieve as many ideas in their mind as possible. Introduce them to a wide array of concepts, thoughts and notions. Then their imagination will run wild with the endless conceivable combinations and possibilities. They will be the ones who create an even better future.
Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.
So let’s introduce our children to the world they live in through live experiences and through reading about the experiences of others, and then let’s let them dream and imagine an even better world.
Extensive research has proven that reading aloud to a child is the single most important factor in raising a reader. These inexpensive fifteen minutes a day are the best-kept secret in education.
If reading to children were common instead of a rarity, we’d be facing fewer academic and social problems in the nation and the world. Consider the following statistics:
- Only 37 percent of high school students score high enough on reading achievement tests to handle adequately college-level material
- 80 percent of college faculty members report that entering freshman cannot read well enough to do college work.
- An examination of college remedial classes showed a marked increase in the enrollment for reading classes, with the greatest deficiency being reading speed and comprehension
- Literacy rates in many countries is 80-90%, unfortunately these numbers are skewed- literacy being defined as the ability to write your name and read a simple sentence.
Read-Aloud.org is committed to changing the patterns of illiteracy, and redefining the definition of literacy. Our organization is not about teaching people to read, but teaching them to want to read and to do it often. Too many people, if they do learn to read, have little interest in doing it once they are out of school “What we teach children to love and desire, will always outweigh what we teach them to do.”
The benefits of having a reading world- where people are interested in reading and make it a life-long pursuit- are unmeasurable. Reading is the heart of education and learning. Every subject flows from reading.
- The more you read, the more you know
- The more you know, the smarter you grow
- The smarter you are, the better health and employment you enjoy
- The better health and employment you have, the higher socio-economic status you have
- The higher the socio-economic status of the population, the better the economy, living conditions and overall situation of their country
- The better the overall situations of each country, the better the overall condition of the world
Reading is the ultimate weapon against ignorance, poverty, despair, hate, and crime. A nation that doesn’t read much, doesn’t know very much. And a nation that doesn’t know very much is more likely to make poor choices, to exhibit prejudice and hate, to act out in violence, to live in a perpetual cycle of poverty, crime and ignorance.
It is clear then that increasing literacy (not the ability to read and write, but the desire and implementation of reading) and creating lifetime readers, is the greatest tool we have for solving the world’s problems. A world of readers is a world of big thinkers, innovators, problem solvers, peacemakers.
People who are readers are people who can start and grow businesses, get better employment, solve problems, make more money and improve as individuals.
As individuals improve, communities improve. As communities improve, nations improve. As nations improve, the world improves.
The challenge then is in creating a world population that is more interested in carrying books than in carrying guns, a population that isn’t just able to read, but wants to read and actually does it, and has access to the resources to do it (books).
How can this be accomplished?:
- Develop the habit of reading as an individual. The more you read, the better you get at it; the better you get at it, the more you like it; the more you like it, the more you do it.
- Promote a love of reading in the next generation. This is done by simply reading aloud to the children in your life for at least 15 minutes a day. Reading aloud has been proven to create a positive association with reading in the minds of children, thus creating a life long desire to read.
- Help provide the necessary resources (books) to those who don’t have access to them. Many impoverished people do not have the money to buy books or access to public libraries. Read-Aloud.org is committed to getting the best books into the hands of the poorest people, those who need them the most.
Take these simple steps towards making world changes. Read every day, and read to your children everyday.
“If a nation (world) expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” Thomas Jefferson