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Reading literacy is of major importance to pediatricians. One in three children in this country start Kindergarten without the language skills needed to be successful in school per the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Two thirds of children and 80% of children who live under the poverty level are not appropriately proficient in reading skills by the third grade. The environment that a child is in from birth to 5 years old must be enriched with regular reading and literacy practice. The AAP promotes active parent-child interaction daily and regularly with books which have a multitude of written words relating to pictures. This helps the child learn and incorporate a larger breadth of vocabulary that can be ultimately assessed by their reading literacy in the third grade.  Starting in infancy, reading should be part of the daily routine. At least 15 minutes a day of sitting and reading to your child. Use picture books that relate common words to pictures of things babies see every day.  Reading, along with what the AAP states are the 5 Rs of early education make for a healthy early childhood environment to help set up a child for a successful future.

1 .Reading together as a daily fun family activity;

2. Rhyming, playing, talking, singing, and cuddling together throughout the day

3. Routines and regular times for meals, play, and sleeping, which help children know what they can expect and what is expected from them

4. Rewards for everyday successes, particularly for effort toward worthwhile goals such as helping, realizing that praise from those closest to a child is a very potent reward

5. Relationships that are reciprocal, nurturing, purposeful, and enduring, which are the foundation of a healthy early brain and child development  AAP committee of Early childhood, 2008)