A Pediatrician Explains How Love, Reading, and Writing Help Children

Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

Writer and pediatrician Perri Klass has always been a champion of sharing books with children, but this month in the New York Times she writes about the issue by mixing research with great human warmth and urgency.

Klass draws on a recent study that found that parents who read and write at home with children boost both literacy and lifetime skills. This topic isn’t new for Klass; she’s the national medical director of Reach Out and Read, the organization that distributes books to children through pediatricians’ offices.

The reading and writing study was conducted by University of Washington researchers who found that “Children who read and write at home — whether for assignments or just for fun — are building long-term study and executive function skills,” according to a press release.

Klass turns the research findings into near poetry:

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About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease's bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.
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10 Responses to A Pediatrician Explains How Love, Reading, and Writing Help Children

  1. beetleypete says:

    My Mum used to read to me, then with me, and eventually listened to me read. By the time I was around 9 years old, I was happy to read alone, in my room. Those early starts develop a lifelong love of literature, undoubtedly.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. Julia Huseby says:

    Yes and amen!

  3. Thank you for sharing this Jennie. My Michael would never had developed a love of reading and books if I hadn’t read to him so much. When he is tired because of the medicine and treatment regimes he is on, I don’t make him read but rather read to him still.

  4. So important (and fun) to read to kids of all ages!

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