Storybook Reading Is for More Than Just Fun

By: Whitney Holmes
By: Whitney Holmes

Reading to your child may have more importance than you thought. Studies show that reading to your children not only improves their language skills but also their ability to read.

This is because reading a book introduces words and concepts not experienced in everyday conversation.

"Concepts about the alphabet, about language structure, all those are sitting ready-made in a book. And as those experiences accumulate, it builds skills," said Dr. Laura Justice from UVA’s Curry School of Education.

Some children have what is called a 'language delay,' where they don't use or understand language as much as others. Reading can help these children. The Curry School is conducting a study that focuses on teaching techniques to parents on how to read to their children.

"The purpose of our study is to teach parents how to read to their children," said research graduate assistant, Caroline Streppa. "We teach them to ask questions, about either the story itself, the plotline, or sounds of words."

If you have a preschool aged child who may have a language-delay, you can participate in this study. You will not only receive twelve free story books, but you will also assist in helping educations, policy makers and professionals to better serve language impairment.

For more information, contact:

The Parent-Child Book Reading Program at (434) 924-7825 or email bookreading@virginia.edu.


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