WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) introduced a resolution designating March 2017 as “National Read Aloud Month.” The resolution encourages parents and guardians to read to their children for 15 minutes every day because of the proven developmental benefits for children. By encouraging parents to read to their children, Senators Portman and Harris are joining the Read Aloud campaign in working to promote early brain development through parents and guardians reading to children.

The Read Aloud Campaign started in my hometown of Cincinnati. They are now national because this is an issue that is so important to the development of our country’s children,” said Senator Portman. “There is one study that shows that, on average, by the time a child born into poverty reaches age three, he or she will have heard 30 million fewer words than his or her peers who are not in poverty. This means that children born into poverty are at a severe disadvantage. By designating March as National Read Aloud Month, the Senate can help raise awareness of this issue, and help children reach their full potential by encouraging parents and guardians to take the simple yet invaluable step of reading to their kids.”

"Reading aloud to children is one of the most important things we can do to prepare them for school," said Senator Harris. "Scientific studies show that by age three there is a gap in brain development between kids who are read to aloud and those who are not, and children from low-income families are disproportionately impacted by this gap. Making sure all parents know the importance of reading aloud to their children is critical to closing the achievement gap. This is not a partisan issue, and I am proud to work with Senator Portman to designate March as National Read Aloud Month."

Read Aloud 15 MINUTES National Campaign thanks Senators Portman and Harris for introducing this resolution designating March 2017 as National Read Aloud Month,” said Candace Kendle, President of Read Aloud 15 MINUTES National Campaign.  “We appreciate them sharing our message that daily reading aloud for 15 minutes from birth is an essential element of every child's healthy development.” 

The resolution can be found here.