REAP Baby Reading
Importance of early 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.
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.