I cannot remember when my passionate desire for reading first took hold in my little immature impressionable child brain. For sure it was not because someone convinced me that in the future I would find my Grade 11 Physics text book so fascinating that it would keep me up reading all night! In my early childhood there was no radio or TV in the household so that could not have been an influence.
My father read to us daily at meals from the family bible. And my extended family members would read stories to me. My mom, my aunts and perhaps my older cousins would all have had a part in keeping me entertained through the reading of stories. I was the oldest child, so I had no older siblings that could have kept me amused or distracted.
My father had a modest library, mostly of religious material. Reading was in integral part of the weekly church services. But I personally remember having gifted to me a number of fondly remembered children’s books. What most convinced and compelled me to read, was that family members introduced me to those books by reading them to me, one-on-one. That is what constitutes Quality Time, capitals fully intended! That activity expresses Love and Devotion and dedicated personal attention to the recipient child or children.
Later, in my teenage years my father and I, perhaps with some siblings, would spend Sunday afternoons or evenings curled up on the couch, or in a comfortable chair, reading the latest tomes borrowed from the local library. There was no TV in our household. TV would not be the source of diversion and entertainment.
But that was years after the reading bug first took hold. At that point I was beyond recall. I could never ever be cured of that bug. Nor would I ever want to be!
There is that old saying about it taking a village to raise a child. Obviously it takes active participation by all of us to encourage, cajole and convince our children to read. It starts at home. It continues within the extended family. And it is reinforced and formalized by sound educational practice.
And here is another on-line resource I just found from the State of Michigan. To quote them:
The focus of the document is on practices in individual interactions with children, rather than on center- or systems-level practices. The document focuses on infants and toddlers, as the first 3 years of life are when children learn the fastest and acquire the foundational skills that will support their development and learning for the rest of their lives. Improving language and literacy experiences in the infant and toddler years has the potential to improve “reading by third grade” outcomes. Early childhood programs can also help to address disparities in literacy achievement.