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.


May is #GetCaughtReading Month!

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.

Changing the World One Book at a Time

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 the 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.

“You’re never too old,
  too wacky, too wild
  to pick up a book
  and read to a child!”

~Dr. Seuss


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—May is #GetCaughtReading Month!" (54)

  1. very true indeed. i will always be indebted to my dad. he bought us an encyclopedia set when i was still a young kid. aside from the wealth of knowledge it made available to us then, it had loads of stories as well. that got me and my brother into reading as young kids. and it worked wonders for me. it really helped me a lot in my school days. and more.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Betty:

    This blog has given me an idea to use podcasting to read stories to children? Have you seen my new adaptation of this concept?


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for this great posting! It gives courage to tell it parents over and over again. Have a beautiful week! Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a great article, Bette! Nothing is more important than reading aloud to children. I love that photo of you. Toni x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well said, Bette! (And I love the Dr. Suess quote at the end.)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Reblogged this on A Teacher's Reflections and commented:
    Bette’s post on inspiring kids of all ages – one book at a time is a perfect companion to my Jim Trelease and reading aloud post yesterday. There are so many reasons to share a book with a child. Thank you Bette!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for sharing a part of your world!!… unfortunately the only child here is me, but I do read… think reading is for everyone… a great way to relax, to gather knowledge, learn about the universe and go on adventures… “Any piece of knowledge I acquire today has a value at this moment exactly proportioned to my skill to deal with it. Tomorrow, when I know more, I will recall that piece of knowledge and use it better. “ (Mark van Doren).. 🙂

    Until we meet again..
    May your day be touched
    by a bit of Irish luck,
    Brightened by a song
    in your heart,
    And warmed by the smiles
    of people you love.
    (Irish Saying)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the visit and chuckle, Larry… Remaining a child at heart is one of the best things of growing up. Reading opens up the world to the child in us all. ❤ Have a blessed and beautiful weekend, my friend. xo


  8. The most important thing ever! Thanks, Bette!


  9. Just wonderful!!!


  10. I love the hashtag–#getcaughtreading


  11. What a wonderful post, Bette! It makes my heart happy that all five of my grandchildren love to read, especially in this electronic age. Thank you for sharing!


  12. Excellent post, Bette and it is so important to read to children and to make them inculcate the art of reading too.


  13. This is a wonderful post, Bette! I agree it’s important to read to children to inspire their love for books.


  14. D.L. Finn, Author said:

    Great post, Bette:) It’s so true how important books and reading are for kids xo


  15. A wonderful post, Bette. And the best part of reading to kids (aside from growing their brains) is that they love it. It’s amazing to me that even babies love books and stories. Reading to kids is the easier thing in the world to do, and the benefits are huge. Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. What a lovely post, Bette! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Brilliant post, Bette. I totally agree.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I remember my Mum and Gran reading to me when I was little – they used to make me laugh when they did the characters’ voices. Mum taught me to read before I started school, and I’ll always be grateful for that.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. I so agree with all of this. I love the photo! xo

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Bette, a profound article of importance to us all! The figure for children living in poverty is shocking and that this includes those without regular access to books, sharing books is terrible. Not only affecting their education overall but also the loss of the wonderful world of books. I hadn’t thought about it before but you raise a good point about ‘listeners hear complete and complex sentence structure that is not offered in everyday conversation’.

    I love the Dr Seuss quote at the end … and felt when reading to my son was some of our most precious times together!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks so much for your thoughtful note, Annika! ❤ I believe that taking time from our busy schedules to read aloud to and with children is one of the greatest gifts we can give them. And it's one of those gifts that gives us so much in return. xo

      Liked by 1 person

  21. A delightful and useful post, Bette. Thank you for sharing these excellent thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. petespringerauthor said:

    Another fantastic habit is to read in the presence of children. When kids see us reading, it reinforces that reading has value. Whenever we had SSR (Sustained Silent Reading) in my class, I always read with my students. Modeling is an important tool.

    The photo of you and the child is precious, Bette. Don’t you love seeing those engaged and focused faces?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m with you all the way, Pete! SSR is a sensational way to set the tone and model our own love of reading with the students and with family. There’s nothing like taking a peek at our readers lost in their own world of books… ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  23. The best moments of our life are created by reading Bette; the best flights of imagination are crafted by the books we read to our children. Thanks for reiterating the timeless truth… great reminders for parents and grandparents.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. The photo is lovely and the truth underscoring it is timeless. Thank you, Bette!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Fantastic post, Bette…and such a beautiful photograph. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Get Caught Reading Month . . . what a GREAT idea! I do have fond memories of reading to my daughter. Maybe some day I’ll get to read to a grandchild!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Celebrating the Wonder of Words–oh, what a joy! Memories of reading with my daughters when they were young are still magical… Now, thanks to digital technology, I can Facetime or Zoom with GreatGrandGirl so far away or with our local library youngsters online when we can’t meet face to face. The magic goes on! ❤ xo


  27. I read to my son and then to my granddaughters and now my granddaughters read to my great grands. It’s a wonderful thing.

    Have a fabulous day, Bette. ♥

    Liked by 1 person

  28. I always enjoyed reading to my children and the children at playgroup and now my grandchildren. It’s an easy thing to do and a good chance for busy parents or tired grandparents to have a sit down!

    Liked by 1 person

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