At the start of a new school year, Dr. Guttmacher highlights the importance of reading every day with children. Here's an excerpt of his recent article in The Huffington Post.
When my grandson Woody comes to visit, a favorite thing to do is curl up on the couch together with a good storybook. For instance, on his next visit, I look forward to introducing him to Busy Day, Busy People. Like most 2 ½ year-olds, Woody loves exploring his world, and learning about that world through books. I know that he will enjoy the pictures of the construction workers, digging dirt and pouring cement. And I know even more deeply what a joy it is to help him discover the world.
Even on a “Busy Day” for “Busy People,” reading is a wonderful way to expand children’s worlds and to bond children and caregivers, and one that can start at birth . It also is a crucial way to help children gain the language and literacy skills needed for a good start in school.
The effects of early reading ability are far-reaching. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics , “Reading proficiency by third grade is the most significant predictor of high school graduation and career success, yet two-thirds of U.S. third-graders lack competent reading skills.”
To help your child develop these important skills, make reading a daily activity, starting on day one.
Read the full article
Alan Guttmacher, M.D., assumed the duties of NICHD Acting Director on December 1, 2009. A pediatrician and medical geneticist, Dr. Guttmacher came to the NIH in 1999 to work at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), where he served in a number of roles, including Deputy Director from 2002 to 2010, and Acting Director from 2008 to November 30, 2009.