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Highlights for Children, Inc. supports American Academy of Pediatrics new recommendation to read aloud to children from birth

Columbus, OH • Friday, June 27, 2014

Highlights for Children, Inc., the leading family media brand and publisher of the most-read children’s magazines in North America, today announces its support of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) new policy announcement about reading to children from birth. The AAP’s recommendation, which was released on Tuesday, aligns with Highlights’ long-standing position on early childhood literacy.

“The benefits of reading to young children are well known, but the role of reading to babies from day one in promoting language development is still not widely understood,” said Christine French Cully, editor-in-chief of Highlights for Children, Inc. “Highlights has been a longtime advocate of reading aloud to children no matter their age – from birth to adolescence. It’s incredibly encouraging to now have this recommendation supported by an American Academy of Pediatrics policy.”

According to a New York Times article on the new policy, the American Academy of Pediatrics, which represents 62,000 pediatricians across the country, is asking its members to become powerful advocates for reading aloud, every time a baby visits the doctor. The new policy recommends that doctors tell parents they should be “reading together as a daily fun family activity” from infancy.

An important part of brain development occurs within the first three years of a child’s life. Reading to children from birth helps to enhance vocabulary and other important communication skills. Highlights recognized this essential need and launched Highlights Hello, its award-winning monthly magazine geared toward babies and their caregivers, in August 2012 to help parents get in the habit of reading aloud to their children from birth. Hello has since become the nation’s leading magazine for babies and toddlers. The magazine has also been honored by the Magazine Innovation Center for its novel design for babies, which includes rounded corners, non-toxic ink, thread binding and tear-resistant, washable paper.

This is the first time that the AAP has officially weighed in on early literacy education. “Until very recently, the national conversation about this issue has been mostly a low but persistent hum,” said Cully in a recent Huffington Post blog post. “Let's hope that with the AAP and so many others joining in, it will now rise to the level of a clarion call: Let's read to children. All of us. Every child. Every day. In infancy and throughout childhood ‒ even beyond the stage when they are reading independently.”

To learn more about Highlights for Children and Highlights Hello, visit Highlights.com. To read the new policy from the American Academy of Pediatrics, please visit AAPNews.AAPPublications.org.

About Highlights:

Devoted to "Fun with a Purpose," family media brand Highlights for Children, Inc. (http://www.highlights.com/) has helped children become their best selves for generations. In addition to the flagship magazine, Highlights’ other offerings include a preschool magazine (High Five), an infant magazine (Hello), a children’s book company (Boyds Mills Press), puzzle book clubs and a variety of digital products.

For additional information about Highlights for Children, Inc., please contact Christine French Cully, Editor in Chief, at (570) 251-4508 or christine.cully@highlights.com.

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