A love of reading is one of the greatest gifts you can give a child. Because it impacts them for a lifetime. Studies confirm when a child is read to, not only his reading improves—so does his interest in other subjects. Not to mention his confidence, social skills, vocabulary, behavior in class, the list goes on.

A 2010 report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation found that, nationwide, “83% of fourth graders from low-income families are not proficient in reading.” The National Research Council report, Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children, found that “students who, by the end of third grade, are not moderately skilled readers are unlikely to graduate from high school.” Fortunately, prevention just takes some planning. The National Institute of Education’s Commission on Reading identified the single most important activity for building knowledge required for the eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children.

Further, when researchers studied vocabulary acquisition among third graders who read on their own versus those read aloud to by an adult, a much greater gain was seen when listening to stories read aloud.

It’s in our power to change the lives of children who just need a little more of our attention.

Why read to a child? Because making any child’s future brighter reflects back on us all.