Do you write books for children? March is National Reading Awareness Month and Read Aloud Month. ReadAloud.org is a group that is the most active in bringing awareness to the importance of reading aloud to young children with their Read Aloud 15 Minutes campaign.
ReadAloud.org recently conducted an in-depth survey on whether parents are heeding the advice of experts to read aloud to their children at least 15 minutes a day. Reading aloud has an extremely positive impact on brain development.
Sadly, ReadAloud’s study found that less than half of the parents surveyed (just 46%) say their child is read books aloud at home every day, and only 34% say their child is read books aloud at home daily for 15 minutes.
Parents reported the following reasons for not reading aloud to their children:
• 40% said they “can’t find the time in the day.”
• Four in ten parents said it’s easier to find video games than books for their children.
• Half of the parents feel books for their child’s age are too expensive.
• One-third of the parents who don’t read to their children said their children won’t sit still long enough.
The Read Aloud 15 Minutes campaign believes that reading aloud to children between birth and 8 years of age is extremely important. During this age span, there is a unique and fleeting opportunity for parents to foster language and social-emotional connections, to expand knowledge and imagination, and to stimulate brain networks that make reading and learning possible. Consistent reading aloud provides a simple and ideal way to do these things.
If you write and produce books for children, I encourage you to use the information and these survey results provided by ReadAloud.org to engage parents and promote your books. You can do the following to encourage parents to read aloud to their children and to use your books to do so:
- Educate your target audience about the benefits of reading aloud to children.
- Provide them tips on ways to work in reading to their children into their day, even in short segments. They can read during bath time, while waiting for an appointment, or even in line at the grocery story.
- Provide discounts and specials on purchasing your books for parents so they perceive your books as affordable and buy them.
- Set up readings of your books in your local bookstores and libraries and encourage parents to bring their children to hear the story.
Remember, the more value you provide to your potential readers, the more likely they will engage with you and purchase your book. Your Christian children’s book is not just a story for young children, it is a tool that parents can use to teach their children language and increase their ability to learn, as well as point them to their Creator.
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