NC State
Very Important Parents

Lifelong learning starts at home. I was thinking about this last weekend as my mom and I discussed good books we’ve read and what we’re going to read next. Books have been a part of my life since before I could read. There are few greater things than reading to a small child and seeing their excitement and anticipation of what the next page in the book holds.

Reading to children from a young age is tremendously important for the development of their language and literacy skills. These skills set the foundation for their future success in school and in society. Even for babies, reading out loud is critical, as they begin to understand language well before than can talk or read on their own. A lot is going on in those little brains! Of course, many of you have heard these facts before and you know just how important reading is. Yet, sometimes it can be hard to know the best ways to engage children with books.

Here are some tips for taking story time with your kiddo to the next level:

Happy reading! You and your kiddo have so many book adventures ahead. If you’re looking for some great reads, here are some of my favorites:


Jenna Barnes, M.Ed has served children, youth, and families as a behavioral health clinician, researcher, community advocate, and parent coach.  She currently works as an Extension Associate/Program Coordinator for the Very Important Parents program at NC State University to develop and implement parent education resources and trainings for young parents and community members that work with them.