It’s never too early: Reading at a young age matters

Traci MurphyMay 31, 2022
A Reading Mentor and student share a book.

We know that reading at grade level by third grade can change the trajectory of a child’s life. Why? Because reading changes the way our brains work, how we relate to other people and how we understand the world. The importance of reading at a young age cannot be overstated.

Reading develops a child’s brain

Reading is exercise for the brain. It’s not just that your brain processes words and meaning while looking at the text; reading actually changes your brain’s structure.1

When children learn to read at an early age, they have increased general knowledge and expanded vocabulary. Early readers can recognize a larger number of words by sight, enabling them to learn more from and about their environment. And early readers become not only lifelong readers, but also lifelong learners.2 

Reading’s role in social-emotional development

Early readers grow in self-confidence and independence while they are exposed to a range of problem-solving techniques. They also have the opportunity to relate to their peers on a more confident and competent level.2 And to take it a step further, reading complex fiction can increase empathy in both children and adults because it teaches us how to recognize and understand other people’s emotions.1

Reading is one of the most important habits a child needs to have a happy, productive life and successful career. Check out this wonderful infographic from Harper Collins to learn more about why reading at a young age matters. 

Then help a child become a proficient reader by third grade by becoming a Reading Mentor! Learn how at

1More Than Words: Why Reading Matters for Kids

2Benefits of Early Reading