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Reading is, indeed, fundamental

Read Across America, kicked off each year by the celebration of author Dr. Seuss’s birthday, is a fantastic opportunity for teachers and parents to remind kids what a wonderful world awaits them if they embrace reading.

For the most part, students who learn to enjoy reading when they are young will carry that with them throughout their lives. And reading does so much more than help them complete their homework or kill time.

Reading improves brain function — not just creativity and imagination, but critical thinking, vocabulary … even empathy. It encourages self-confidence and independence, improves communication and can spark curiosity and exploration. Parents who read to their kids and later encourage a reading habit have a greater bond with their kids.

And, parents, here’s a bonus: It gets them away from all those screens.

In our local schools many classrooms are taking advantage of Read Across America activities this week.

“This is the week we give a lot of attention to early literacy,” said Marietta City Schools curriculum director Jona Hall. “We can all relate to Dr. Seuss, and it’s easy to encourage children through that, but this is an ongoing effort for the schools.”

For the kids, it is just plain fun — and that’s the idea. Reading is a treat, not a chore.

Kudos to those helping make this week a little more exciting as our students learn to love reading.

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