A note from Ready, Set, Read!


Dear parents,

Did you know that what you do at home, more than what happens at school, can determine the size of your child’s vocabulary by second grade? Some children hear about 600 words in an hour at home, while others hear 2,100 words in an hour.

For more than 20 years, Ready, Set, Read! has been delivering our mission of promoting early childhood literacy development by training parents to read aloud to their young children.

Reading is critical to your child’s social and academic development and success. Simply stated, reading with your child and being a part of their learning will help them succeed in school — and life.

Tips for talking and listening with your children.
(Tracy Chou / Ready, Set, Read!)

Literacy is a launch pad for more than simply reading. It also includes writing, talking and listening. Reading aloud serves as a basis for building critical thinking and helps children develop interests in other areas like math, science and art. Motivate your child’s curiosity by performing tasks together: Read books aloud, explore new ideas, learn new information through research and exploration and do projects together.

To help, here are Ready, Set, Read’s three ingredients for success.

1. Read together: Set aside time to spend with your child and books every day.

2. Talk and listen: Talk to your children in full sentences about the world around you. Explain what you’re doing; ask your child many questions to encourage them to talk.

3. Put education first: When you show that spending time and energy on books and learning is a priority for you, it will also become a priority for them.


In this guide, we will share practical tips for you to use with your child to help them build their skills year after year. You will learn different approaches to math, science and art based on educational standards that you can use when reading with your child.

Share your stories and photos of how your family reads together by email to or on Instagram and tag @readysetreadla.

Read on,

Deb Burgin, executive director
Rieko Mendez, board chair

Ready, Set, Read

This article is part of A Guide to Storytime, L.A. Times Reading by 9’s 2020 parent reading guide. It was produced in partnership with local literacy nonprofit Ready, Set, Read! Check out the rest of the project here.