Benefits of Reading to Your Child


Before they even understand what words and books are about, young children still benefit from listening to you read aloud. And by making books a part of your daily routine, you’re setting the stage for future success in school, work and life. 

Benefits include:

  • Boosting School Readiness – Reading is one of the easiest ways to increase school readiness. When you read to your child, you’re building their vocabulary, language and literacy skills, while improving concentration, curiosity and memory. Watch the video below to learn more about how reading builds comprehension and critical thinking skills.

  • Success in School – Studies show that children who grow up with lots of books in the home tend to go farther in school.
  • A Love of Books – Reading together builds strong family relationships. By cuddling up together with a good book, you teach your child that reading is fun—even for adults.
  • Teaching Coping Skills – Books are a great way to teach children how to handle new experiences and stressful situations. Stories can help children understand, talk about and deal with everything from starting a new school to the loss of a pet.

Did you know?

  • If a child reads for 20 minutes every day, they are exposed to about 1.8 million words of text every year. That is 137 new words per minute!
  • If families read together for 20 minutes a day, 7 days a week, they get more than 121 hours of bonding time every year!
  • Many states use third-grade reading scores to predict the number of jail cells they might need in the future (about three out of five prisoners in America are illiterate).
  • For every year you read with your child, average lifetime earnings increase by $50,000. You make a $250,000 gift to your child from birth to age 5 by reading aloud, just 20 minutes a day!
  • Children who have not developed some basic literacy skills by the time they enter school are 3–4 times more likely to drop out in later years.
  • Reading to your child in an interactive style can raise a child's IQ by 6 points. 
  • Visit the Governor's Books From Birth Foundation to enroll in Imagination Library, the program (for children from birth to age 5) that mails one new book each month to the child's home at no cost to the family. Your child can receive a library of up to 60 books! The Governor's Books From Birth Foundation also has more reading tips and Imagination Library book activities.

    Watch this video about the benefits of reading to your child.

Tennessee Electronic Library

As your child gets older, have them explore the Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL), a virtual library that you can access from a home computer, school library lab or smartphone—anywhere with an Internet connection. TEL provides access to more than 400,000 electronic resources including magazines, podcasts, videos, e-books, test preparation materials, federal census records and more. TEL also offers information about consumer health, business resources, leisure reading suggestions, and genealogy and family history sources.

The Tennessee Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped provides books and magazines in audio and braille formats for children who have a physical disability which makes it difficult for them to read standard print. Qualifying disabilities include: blindness, low vision, manual dexterity problems which prevent holding a book and/or turning pages and reading disabilities.

On the 3rd Friday of every month, the Tennessee Library for the Blind will be holding call in Storytime for young and young at heart patrons! To be a part of this program you need only call the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped and sign up to receive the monthly Story Envelope. Included in this envelope are special craft items, the phone number to call in on, and a set of instructions for a family craft to help keep the story time magic going! On the day of, all you need to do is call in and a Storytime Leader will talk your child through the crafts and read a story to go along with the theme for that month. To sign up for the mailing list or to ask more questions, contact Erin Savage at (800)342-3308 or by emailing