What the research shows:

An infant's brain structure is not genetically determined. Early experiences have a decisive impact on the archite cture of a baby's brain.2

"A child care provider reads to a toddler. And in a matter of seconds, thousands of cells in these children's growing brains respond. Some brain cells are 'turned on,' triggered by this particular experience. Many existing connections among brain cells are strengthened. At the same time, new brain cells are formed, adding a bit more definition and complexity to the intricate circuitry that will remain largely in place for the rest of these children's lives."3

The development of early literacy skills through early experiences with books and stories is critically linked to a child's success in learning to read.4

Development of literacy is a continuous process that begins early in life and depends heavily on environmental influences.5

Children who are read to from an early age are more successful at learning to read.

"Reading aloud to children is the single most important intervention for developing their literacy skills," according to a 1985 study by the National Commission on Reading.7

Early reading experiences are now recognized as being of such importance that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that "pediatricians prescribe reading activities along with other instructions given to parents at the time of well-child visits." The President of the Academy, Dr. Robert E. Hannemann, stated: "We strongly recommend daily reading to children from six months of age."8