I have such fond memories from my childhood of my mom reading aloud to us girls. I can still smell her, feel the fluff of her jersey against my cheek, sense the up and down motion evoked by the expression in her voice. There were three of us and we’d fight to be on either side of her, closest to her. Being the oldest child I usually had to give way to one of my younger sisters. But this gave me the opportunity to gaze at my mom while she read, taking in the effort she put in with her eyes, facial expression, speed, volume, tone and variation. All of this created the magic that everyone speaks about in relation to books. There is no doubt that it starts with the bonding that takes place.
In her TEDx Talk, Keisha Siriboe reflects on this magic when saying, “The power of parent-child reading aloud is more than just the skill, it’s the bonding and if anyone has experienced being read to or reading to a child, there is something, and I’m gonna use an unscientific term to describe it. It is absolutely magical if you experience enjoying a story with a child.”
Keisha states what we already know which is that the research indicates that 15 minutes of reading aloud a day is the minimum amount of time you need to invest in order to start seeing some outcomes. However, Keisha wants us to go beyond just these 15 minutes, which is a good start and talk about the power of reading in a way that ties back into 21st-century skills, which is currently one of the hot topics of the day.
Keisha Siriboe also stresses the role of parents & child themed books by stressing that there is no better way to introduce children to the world than through a children’s book that presents the child being a child, which is something they relate to. She also puts emphasis on the fact that there cannot be anything better than being taught by someone you love more than anyone in this world, a parent, in what should be the safest place in the world, the home.
Her call to action asking us to build a bridge that connects our children to a better tomorrow by reading to them today if a challenge that is applicable to all countries, not just Hong Kong.
Why we all need to start reading aloud to our kids | Keisha Siriboe | TEDxWanChai