REAP Baby Reading

reading a book with baby

Baby Reading

Reading for the long term success of China's children.

Importance of early reading:

Few activities are as important to early childhood development as reading. Early childhood reading has been shown to improve children's cognitive and language development and non-cognitive abilities such as patience, motivation, and self-confidence.
mom and baby reading

Language development is a key part to a child's critical early development.

The way parents speak and interact with kids has huge implications for their development. In fact, early childhood reading is linked to longer term development consequences.

reap mom and kid reading

Reading centers offer a wider selection of books for these families.

97% of caregivers in villages with parenting centers read to their children. Only 44% of caregivers read to their children in villages without parenting centers. In those villages, reading often isn't viewed as a priority.

Early Reading for Success

Why aren't parents reading to their children in rural China?

Sadly, people in rural China don't know about how important it is for a child to develop their cognitive and language skills before 3 years old. Parents don't know that early reading can help their children develop! This is the crux of the delay in China's rural children. Parents we talked with shared that chores and household duties, a belief that children need to speak or show interest in reading first, and concerns about how children may damage books make them hesitate to read to their children. 

What we're doing:

Our program is built around the infrastructure we've established at our parenting centers, where we have reading corners for babies and toddlers. These corners are set aside for caregivers and their children to come to the parenting centers and read together. The caregivers are encouraged to take some of the books home to read, likening the center to a library.