The Amazing Flight of Little Ray shows the way to pay reading forward, displayed at 50% of viewport width.
April 2020 by Terry Verduin


And when Little Ray heard their words,
he came to his senses and thought about birds.
Under their feathers, they had to have skin.
If so, Little Ray's fight was about to begin!
(The Amazing Flight of Little Ray)

Those who pay reading forward help children achieve success at school and in life through early childhood education, development and learning.

Development and Learning

Powerplay? Cincinnati Children's Reading and Literacy Discovery Center gives insights into picture books' power. Their 2018 study with 27 children of about age four confirms “visuals greatly aid early language development”.

Ready to Ramble? Speaking voice alone is not captivating for kids. Viewing animated stories on screens offers no time to think. Reading aloud with pictures engages attention, builds imagination and strengthens concentration.

Environmental Impacts? Traditional, virtual and one-on-one tutoring conditions provide flexible teaching variety. Checks and balances come with the comfort and freedom of individual questions asked and answered.

Forward Thinking? Real-world connections are needed for real-world advancement. Kids glued to electronic devices disconnect from critical relations. Distance diminishes attention and reduces participation.

Drawing Inspiration? Early reading improves creative thought and power. Text and pictures merge to stimulate attention, memory and focus. Picture books impact the first five years of a child's development and learning.

Soft Skills?

Play to Learn? In April 2018, AAP published Reading Aloud Can Reduce Hyperactivity and Attention Problems in Children. It reports “reading out loud and pretend play affect children's social and emotional development.”

Master Stroke? Developing minds benefit from book focus and stimulus. Employers place premiums on soft skills; social grace, language diplomacy and emotional intelligence. Cozy story times give children early starts.

Focus Group? The magic of performing aloud with a child combines warmth, sight and sound. Helpful study habits evolve as kids discover books are interesting. They gain exposure to spelling, writing and thinking.

Starting with a Dream? Passions are central to career quests. Early learning development identifies talents and interests. It sets the stage for sophisticated skills, dynamic achievements and improved life opportunities.

Close Look? Home reading programs add non-punitive consistency to practice and enrichment. Books for story time cultivate customs, establish expectations and facilitate future studies of math, science and technology.

Reading for Better Futures

Golden Hour? Reading can be done at home, without a commute. Alarms need not jolt readers to action. Time management and organizational skills drive disciplined habits, build safety nets and establish careers.

Working Order? Reading for pleasure and enlightenment may remain in adulthood. Reading adults develop new skills to meet accelerating change with independent study. Innovative books spawn ongoing achievements.

Cut Above? Students welcome seeing, hearing, discussing, acting and learning beyond standard curricula. Problem-solving suspense during reading gives exposure to and practice with original concept formulation.

Higher Ground? Attention to fast-moving screens is shallow and reactive. Too much is happening to allow pause for reflection or deep thought. Reading develops the mental faculties required to process information.

About Face? Kids are attuned to distraction and disinterest. Attention to digital devices discourages interaction. Frustrations from work, school and screen time are contagious. Reading together creates personalized bonding.

Early Childhood Education

Finest Hour? Each child deserves an early start with a wide subject variety to examine. Exposure to interesting content helps pave the way for success. Reading improves when children are shown the pleasure in it.

Dreamscapes? A warm and reassuring closeness develops during fun Reading Exercises with others. Child readers gain an advantage with literacy skills. Guidance from trusted adults helps them grasp new material.

Manual Override? A persistent learning culture starts with the written word. Children from disadvantaged backgrounds catch up via individual preparation. Reading history gives structure to analysis and comprehension.

Idea Lab? Advantaged kids often start school with strong foundations. Networks and interactions in upper echelons teach awareness of the extent to which books mold character, advance knowledge and increase income.

Social Studies? Low parental involvement correlates with low achievement rates. Reading exposes children to the outside world, expands vocabularies and gives practice with information extraction and analysis.

Late Starts Hurt

Game Face? Learning development may be occurring too late. Education increasingly is taking place in prisons and detention centers. Early education is giving way to rehabilitative lessons and work programs.

Boundaries? Security concerns, staff shortages and equipment limitations complicate prison classes. Lack of learning motivation comes with differing ages, education levels, national origins, languages spoken and interests.

Prior Class Failures? Prison populations worldwide are consistently less educated than the general population. Taxpayers may be opposed to rewarding crime or funding people who may never return to the community.

Testing Ground? Many prisons offer basic numeracy, literacy and vocational training, drug treatment, mental health and training programs to help offenders reintegrate into society or function better in custody.

Book Bans? Prisons censor reading materials. Self-help books may be inflammatory or facilitate crime. Picture books may increase tattoo risks. Hardcover books may hold drugs. Inmates rarely have a grievance process.

Equal Learning

Fresh Takes? Bureaucratic, one-size-per-age control on reading in schools seems arbitrary. Parents know and manage their children's specific needs for health, education and wellness. The best school choice may be in homes.

Power House? COVID-19 drew parental participation into school activities. Micro-schools popped up. Standards are raised in these private home schools with small classes and work independent of strict age levels.

Dream Team? Parental engagement is building. The Teachers Union is upset. Average grade school students should read stories at 125 words per minute. These junior and high school rates should range from 200-250 words.

Everything Clicks? Home-schooling is rising. Within healthy, safe locations, parents instill heritage, refinement, ethics and knowledge in their children. Online connections stimulate ideas, discussions and activities for growth.

Rain Check? Parents can foster wellbeing without pulling children from school. They can encourage critical thinking and discuss global threats in a positive way. They can guide their children to overcome real-world fears.

Help Children Achieve Success

Art of the Huddle? Joint learning with adults has benefits. Close-up inspections and interesting discussions help connect storied action to real-life events. Time management and interpersonal skills improve.

Great Heights? About half of children in the U.S. read at grade level. Readers, writers and educators should seek additional assistance. Mentors using pleasurable content may raise reading rates for generations.

It All Stacks Up? Basic literacy is a life skill. Books enrich language exposure and strengthen career readiness. Interesting, far-out subjects may lead reluctant readers to plan and prepare for challenging lifetime pursuits.

Acid Wash? Non-readers fall behind in school and become discouraged. These students have high truancy and drop-out rates. They connect with peers and distance themselves from positive book-learning associations.

Body of Evidence? The U.S. DE presents statistics about literacy and crime. NCES surveys of literacy behind bars reveal “60 percent of prison inmates are illiterate; 85% of juvenile offenders have reading problems”.

Getting On Track

Hands of Time? Students must receive the individual attention they deserve. Bored and under-challenged by programmatic, repetitive routines within narrow subjects, alternative approaches may prove beneficial for them.

Turn up the Heat? Learning no longer may be happening in many places. Conduct deteriorates when material seems irrelevant. Different learning styles and abilities cannot be served by one-size-fits-all approaches.

Walking Tall? Students resist conformity. They are inattentive when forced to study subjects they find no need to know. An inquiring mind must be self-motivated to absorb marketable, technical and professional skills.

View Finder? Reading provides information, insights and viewpoints. Effort and study improve reasoning and management of new situations. Positive reinforcement aids in the push for intelligence and judgment.

Chain Reaction? Readers of this article may recognize their interest in arts and sciences came from an adult. Reading aloud to children teaches an appreciation of books. Everyone can work together to pay reading forward.