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The benefit of reading to your kids

Wiggler's Storytime at the Traverse Area District Library. Upnorthlive photo

GRAND TRAVERSE COUNTY, Mich. (WPBN/WGTU)-- Most kids don't begin to read until ages five to seven. However, it's the years before that where brain development is at its peak. That's why many believe it's important to read to your kids at a very young age.

“It makes that transition from being read to to being a reader on their own that much easier,” said Andy Schuck, who is the Coordinator of Youth Services at the Traverse Area District Library.

According to Schuck, 0-3 years of age is when brain development in children is highest. That's why parents like Diane Arnold come to the library quite often.

“It’s wonderful, we love the library," Arnold said. "We come here at least once a week.”

Arnold has a two year old and a four month old, and she never misses an opportunity to fit in a book.

“She at least gets three books at nap time and three books at nighttime," she said of her daughter. "So she gets six books at least.”

“When children are read to, they're not only hearing your words and seeing them in the books, their brains are making all kinds of connections,” said Sharon Workman, who is the coordinator of a local organization "Born to Read," which promotes early literacy. “Our hope is that by introducing this right away, we’ll get parents not only at home reading to their babies, but coming to the libraries to the playgroups and the storytimes."

While kids will eventually learn to read in school, Schuck says their best teachers are the ones they see everyday.

“Parents are their children's first and best teacher," Schuck said. "This important time between 0 and 5 and 0 and 3 really is the best time for parents to bond with their children over books.”

"Born to Read" is a project of the Rotary Club of Traverse Bay Twilight. Together with the Traverse Area District Library, they created a new text service that sends weekly reading tips for parents. To sign up, just text "READ" to 79-79-79.

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