Reading, Singing, and Telling Stories to Young Children

Reading, telling stories, and singing to young children regularly can lay the foundation for future literacy and educational success. Parents of children aged 0-5 were asked how often their children were read to during the previous week. A total of 47.9 percent of children in this age group were read to (by a parent or other family member) every day.

The likelihood of children being read to every day differs by race and ethnicity. More than half of non- Hispanic White (59.2 percent) and non-Hispanic children of other races (50.1 percent) were read to every day, compared to 42.6 percent of non-Hispanic Black children and 28.8 percent of Hispanic children.

Parents were also asked how often they or other family members sang or told stories to their children in the previous week. Overall, 56.8 percent of children aged 0-5 years were sung to or told stories every day. Singing and storytelling also varied by race and ethnicity: More than 60 percent of non-Hispanic White and 58.7 percent of non-Hispanic children of other races were sung to or told stories every day, compared to 54.9 percent of non-Hispanic Black and 41.5 percent of Hispanic children.