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It’s never too early to introduce your child to reading. Here at Kids for the Future, we’ve seen first hand how important early literacy is to children’s long-term success. It helps boost their language development, vocabulary and cognition—skills that are essential in both school and life. But we also understand how difficult it can be to get children, especially those with special needs, interested in reading. In celebration of National Literacy Month, we’re sharing five at-home tips to help:

  1. Make reading a family activity: Be a role model for early literacy by showing a personal interest in reading. Encourage the whole family to participate in the process by setting regular reading routines after school or before bedtimes.

  2. Reduce distractions: Pick locations or environments without too many distractions or opportunities for overstimulation. This will help children focus and better enjoy the experience of reading. For younger readers, select books that are concise and straightforward so they can more easily understand the message.

  3. Select age-appropriate books: When selecting a book, keep your child’s age and abilities in mind. For example, consider selecting a picture book for a young child versus a chapter book for an older child.
  4. Keep it fun: To get kids excited about reading, pick books with their favorite interests, topics or characters in mind. Choose books that will allow you and your child to engage visually (i.e., hand movements), auditorily (i.e., different voices) and physically (i.e., commands or instructions).

Does your child need help with their language development or reading skills? Contact Kids for the Future at