SOURCE: Sylvan Learning Center

February 18, 2014 16:10 ET

Five Easy Ways to Inspire Children to Read

Sylvan Learning Celebrates NEA's Read Across America Day With Tips to Encourage Children's Love of Reading

BALTIMORE, MD--(Marketwired - Feb 18, 2014) - In the month of March, 2014, Sylvan Learning will join the nation's parents, children and educators to observe the largest annual celebration of reading in the nation.

In celebration of Dr. Seuss's birthday, the National Educational Association (NEA) hosts Read Across America Day on March 3, 2014. The annual observance serves as a yearly opportunity for families to put reading front and center in a child's life. It's a day when parents can help children discover how reading can transport them to places of fun, adventure and learning just as surely as TV, Internet or video games.

"Children whose primary exposure to reading occurs at school rather than at home may associate reading with work rather than pleasure," said Julia Fitzgerald, Sylvan Learning's Chief Marketing Officer. "Read Across America Day provides an ideal chance for parents to introduce reading as the enjoyable, entertaining activity that it can be. And of course, numerous studies have shown that the more reading a child does at home, the more it enhances that child's performance at school."

However, reading is more than a one-day event. That's why Sylvan Learning is offering these five simple tips to help families ensure their children establish a lifelong relationship with the written word.

Be a role model. Seeing is believing. Letting your child see you read on a regular basis is far more effective in conveying the importance of reading than telling them to do so. Be prepared to discuss what you are reading, and encourage children to ask questions about it.

If you want them to read, read to them. Schedule a regular story time when you can sit quietly with your child, enjoy a book together and establish a direct parent-to-child reading connection.

Turn the tables. Sharing reading with your child should be a two-way experience. Help your child choose an age-appropriate book and have them read aloud to you as well. Help them through any challenging words. Ramp up the reading level gradually to keep the process interesting and challenging.

Give them a window into your own childhood. The true children's classics last forever. Tell them about your favorite books when you were their age and make those books available for them to explore. Read them again together, then discuss the stories and compare your favorite parts.

Change Screen Time to Reading Time. Prioritize reading as a free-time activity on a tablet instead of playing a video game or watching TV. Download an audio book or a series of e-books for your child's leisure reading.

"While these tips can be helpful, the real key is to apply them with consistency," said Fitzgerald. "Reinforcing reading as a lifelong activity also means reinforcing its importance -- even as a fun activity -- on a daily basis. And taking the 'work' out of reading is one of the most important steps in furthering a child's academic success."

For additional tips and resources, contact Sylvan Learning at 1-800-31-SUCCESS or visit us on the web at www.sylvanlearning.com.

About Sylvan Learning, Inc.
With more than 30 years of experience and more than 800 locations throughout North America, Sylvan Learning is the leading provider of personal learning for students in grades K-12. As the leader in supplemental education, Sylvan is transforming how students learn, inspiring them to succeed in school and in life. Sylvan's proven tutoring approach blends amazing teachers with SylvanSync™ technology on the iPad® for an engaging learning experience. Sylvan programs include study skills, math, reading, writing and test prep for college entrance and state exams. Sylvan also provides educational services to public and nonpublic schools. The company was founded in 1979 and is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland. For more information, call 1-800-31-SUCCESS or visit www.SylvanLearning.com or Sylvan's Mom Minded blog at www.SylvanLearning.com/blog.

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