Home, early childhood education, school and library together create the framework and resources for children and youth to develop a desire to read. Literacy is only developed when it is trained in an active and multifaceted manner. The reading habits adopted in early childhood define the habits of adolescence and adulthood. The Read Aloud shares information about the importance of reading aloud through child health care clinics* and aim at reaching out to all families regardless their social or economic background.
Listening to regular read-aloud stories boosts children’s vocabulary, supports their emotional development and has a major influence on their future literacy and school performance. Reading aloud is one of the key factors in boosting the equality between children and families, regardless of their social or economic background.
The ability and motivation to read is based on early childhood experiences. The role of parents is especially important during the early years, when the child cannot read by themselves. However, reading aloud continues to have a major positive impact on children and young people’s literacy even when they are already literate.
The materials created at the project reply to the urgent demand of the early education and child health care clinic professionals to help them encourage the parents to read aloud to their children, as there was a lack of reliable and extensive materials this far.
In the next phase, all Finnish municipalities are targeted, as the goal is that after 2018 all clinics order and distribute materials regularly and child check-ups for certain age groups.
*Finnish child health clinics (lastenneuvola) tend to the health of children under school age in Finland. These clinics monitor and support the physical, mental and social growth and development of young children. At a child health clinic, children visit either a doctor or a nurse. Families with a child who is less than one year old are invited to a child health clinic at least nine times. The child health clinic services of your own municipality are free-of-charge.