by Jenny Stenis - Manager of the PLS Readers' Center
Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him. —Maya Angelou
Research shows that the ability to read and to read well allows children to succeed in school and life. Children who read for leisure through their childhood enhance their reading comprehension, vocabulary development, and general knowledge. Reading stimulates eye muscles and improves the concentration of any reader. Readers have a tendency to perform better in academics mainly because they have better oral and written communications skills.
These skills are well and good, but the most important things that reading teaches not only children but adults as well, are the things that make us human.
Readers are validated by self-identification with the hero or heroine in a story. They gain the knowledge and experience that they read about in the book. What child doesn’t weep along with Wilbur at the loss of his friend Charlotte in Charlotte’s Web? Not only didn’t I understand until right then the life cycle of a spider, but the story also brought me an understanding of the heartbreak of losing a friend - human or no.