Research has shown that 90 percent of a person’s brain develops in the first five years of life.
That’s why a child’s experiences and relationships during that time are critically important. Reading not only engages children and boosts brain development, but it also helps children and parents and children bond.
That is why this year the Department of Human Services launched the “10 Minutes Matter” reading campaign.
Studies have shown that reading just one short book every day to a young child can increase their vocabulary by 300,000 words.
Reading creates a wonderful bonding experience between parent and child starting at birth. It stimulates the imagination and expands children’s knowledge of the world. It also strengthens social and emotional development by teaching them words to express their feelings.
Reading to your child for just 10 minutes a day can make a big difference and it is never too early to start.
For families with limited resources, there are several ways to get books a little to no cost.
The Arkansas Imagination Library works in partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to send every child in Arkansas from birth to age 5 a new book each month. The books are free of cost and age-appropriate.
Research has shown that a child with 25 books in their home complete an average of two additional years of schooling compared to their peers without books in their home. The goal of the Arkansas Imagination Library is that every kindergartner begins school with 60 books in their home.
You can also check out books from your local library.