A writer inspired by nature and human nature

“The love of reading is a lynchpin for successful learning—for success in life. Kids learn to read best when adults take time to share their passion for books with them.” ~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author.

One of the best ways to inspire kids to love to read is by reading aloud to them and talking with them about the books you share. We can all make a difference in the lives of the children around us when we #GetCaughtReading with the kids!

Benefits of Reading Aloud to Children of all ages

  • Expands vocabulary as they hear new words in context
  • Provides contextual examples for grammar and sentence structure that everyday conversation does not offer
  • Strengthens reading comprehension
  • Increases a child’s attention span
  • Teaches life skills associated with story themes and characters
  • Fosters family/generational/community communication.

Research has shown that children who come to school with a large vocabulary achieve more in school than those that have little familiarity with a wide range of words. Children are great listeners and imitators—they pay attention to what they hear. Reading aloud and discussing books with children is crucial to successful learning. Before children are reading on their own, a crucial part of their learning is based on imitating what they hear and observe.

Children are able to listen and comprehend content read to them two years above their actual reading level. Reading comprehension doesn’t catch up to a child’s listening comprehension level until eighth grade. When listening to adults read stories above their current reading level, a child’s vocabulary increases. This also provides an opportunity for listeners hear complete and complex sentence structure that is not offered in everyday conversation.

Children of all ages love to be read to by adults who are excited about books and reading. In fact, avid adult readers are walking, talking advertisements for books as they share their love of the written word with listeners. And, children enjoy talking about books with adults as much as the adults enjoy talking with them. When readers and listeners discuss characters and themes, their lives are enriched and family/generational communication skills are strengthened. A child’s story comprehension skills increase significantly as well. Reading aloud to children creates a win-win experience for everyone.

Where are the children?

In the U.S. alone there are about 15 million children living in families with incomes below the federal poverty threshold—many of these children do not have books in their homes or adults who are available to read to them.

Where are these children? We’ll find them in homes, schools and libraries in villages, towns and cities in our own communities and across the globe. Local libraries and elementary schools are pleased to hear from those of us who are looking for the opportunity to share our love of reading with those who need it most—children of all ages, from all walks of life. Together we can change the world—one reader, one book, one book talk—one child or group of children at a time.

“So it is with children who learn to read fluently and well: They begin to take flight into whole new worlds as effortlessly as young birds take to the sky.” ~William James


Inspired by nature and human nature, author Bette A. Stevens is a retired elementary and middle school teacher, a wife, mother of two and grandmother of five. Stevens lives in Central Maine with her husband on their 37-acre farmstead where she enjoys reading, writing, gardening, walking and reveling in the beauty of nature. She advocates for children and families, for childhood literacy and for the conservation of monarch butterflies—an endangered species (and for milkweed, the only plant that monarch caterpillars will eat).

Stevens is the author of AMAZING MATILDA, an award-winning picture book (Ages 5-11); The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too!, a home/school resource incorporating hands-on math, science and writing (Ages 6-12); and PURE TRASH (Ages 10-Adult), the short story prequel to her début novel, DOG BONE SOUP (Ages 12-Adult)—coming-of-age story and family drama set in 1950s and 60s New England.


[Explore Bette’s Blog]

Comments on: "Inspiring Kids of All Ages—One Book at a Time—#GetCaughtReading" (60)

  1. What an excellent article on the importance of instilling a love of reading at an early age and by reading out loud. I read out loud to my six kids and my 10 grandchildren, enjoying it as much as they did. I am happy to say they all became avid readers growing up and I believe it enhanced their writing skills as well.

  2. Thanks for sharing his post and wishing you many blessings.

  3. Literacy and education is so important to solving so many social issues we face, so reading to children is a terrific contribution to the betterment of society. My 6 year old grandson told me he was ‘born to read.’ And he’s not the only one! I felt the same way when I was his age and throughout my entire life. I don’t know what I’d do without reading.

  4. Great post, Bette–and an important reminder. You never know when a story will make a huge difference in a child’s life. They certainly did in mine. Sharing… 🙂

  5. Bette, a wonderful post celebrating reading to and with children … it fosters not only a love of the written word and helps all learning but also builds relationships and deeper understanding of each other as ‘they take flight into whole new worlds’! The statistic of children growing up in poverty and without access to books is frightening … every little bit makes a huge difference. I only heard about #GetCaughtReading the other day on one of the comments on my blog and think it is a brilliant initiative!! Happy Reading and sharing of the love of books! ❤️

    • Thanks so much, Annika! <3 Together we can all #GetCaughtReading to all children, especially to those who are in great need for adults to care about them–we can change the world for the better! <3 xo

  6. GREAT post with important information. READ to a child. To children. I almost feel like I get more from reading to children than they get. The look in their eyes, their FACES, as they listen to a story is absolutely priceless and fills my heart with hope.

    • Right there with you, Pamela! <3 READING to children brings bountiful blessings. There's nothing quite like the joy we feel when listeners' faces sparkle–a priceless gift fills us with hope! xo

  7. I love reading & books, this love was given to me by my uncle who was a teacher in the Deaf community, he loved reading & books, nurturing that within me, & in turn my children & my grandchildren.
    Your post is absolutely spot on Bette! ♥

    • Hi, Jennifer. <3 Thanks so much for sharing your inspiring #GetCaughtReading story… Caring, sharing adults can and do make a difference every day in the lives of children of all ages–setting an example for all of us to follow! xo

  8. Terrific post, Bette! I didn’t know reading comprehension doesn’t catch up to a child’s listening comprehension level until eighth grade. Makes me even more determined to read to my 13 (soon to be 14) great nieces and nephews ❤️

  9. What a great post, Bette, and thank you for sharing the statistics. Literacy and book donation programs are in cities and many towns across the country. They’re easy to find and contribute to. We’re all enriched when children learn the love of books and reading. 🙂

    • Thanks so much for stopping by to help spread the #GetCaughtReading bug… Here in our small town, the Lyons Club teams up with local schools to sponsor a Reading Carnival each April, where all the kids get to take home new books–and I get to #GetCaughtReading with children and their families–oh what a wonderful time! <3 xoxoxo

  10. Wonderful and meaningful post, Bette! I agree with you that reading to children is a win-win for everyone. I miss those younger years of reading to mine. 🙂 As both young adults now, they still love to read. Enjoy your weekend. Love and hugs 🌷📚

    • Thanks so much for your thoughtful note, Lauren. 🙂 Reading Rocks and there are so many children out there that need us. My daughters and grandchildren are all grown and oh, the memories we’ve made together… xo

  11. Reblogged this on BrewNSpew and commented:
    Sharing post on the benefits of reading aloud to children by Bette.

  12. Wonderful, inspiring post, Bette! Thanks so more for sharing. 🙂

  13. Reblogged this on Viv Drewa – The Owl Lady.

  14. A brilliant reminder Bette. If only all children had access to books and a loving person to read to them…

  15. Great post with an important message that can’t be shared too often, Bette. I totally agree.

  16. This is a very inspirational post, Bette. Sharing.

  17. Such an important post, Bette! Bless you for this timely post! ♥

  18. Excellent post, Bette. Thanks for sharing.

  19. This is a marvellous theme for the month of May – thank you for sharing, Bette:)

  20. Wonderful post, Bette! I love the photo of you!

    • Thank you, Jill! <3 Sammy and I had a great time while her grandmother hemmed a couple of my skirts. We read AMAZING MATILDA, talked about butterflies, friendship and patience and even drew and painted some monarch butterflies. It was an amazing afternoon and the company was sensational! xo

  21. It’s great to share reading time with kids. 🙂

  22. Excellent post, Bette! Will share! 💕😘

  23. D.L Finn, Author said:

    I love this post Bette!
    A good reminder to not only read to our kids, but reach out to kids in schools and libraries and share the love of reading.

    • Thanks so much, Denise! <3 There are so many children today who need us. Cheers for all who share their passion and inspire kids not only to learn to read, but who love to read. xo

  24. Thank you for shining a light on the importance of reading and learning the joy of books from an early age. My parents took the time to read and share with me and I am eternally grateful for that wonderful gift.

    • Thanks so much for stopping by to share, Mae. <3 We were both blessed by parents who shared their love of reading… It's so important to show children that reading is not a chore, it's a joy! xo

  25. Bette, this is such a wonderful post. Get Caught Reading Month is a marvelous thing. Happy reading and hugs.

  26. Wonderful post Bette, you are pointing out many truths in such fluid language.
    I couldnt agree more about reading to children. I had that blessing from my home and have continued the tradition with my two children.
    It is actually very rewarding reading to children, they love the magic in the books so we, by
    reading, become magicians. 🙂
    William James’ quote is beautiful.

    • Dear Miriam,

      How I love your delightful note–“..so we, by reading, become magicians.” 🙂 Such a great reward it is to see that magic appear on the face of a child!

      Blessings and love,

  27. What an inspiring post Bette! I agree with you and with Francis Bacon “Reading maketh a full man.” Thanks for the motivation. Stay blessed!

Thanks so much for stopping by to join the conversation.

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