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Great free professional Development opportunity for educators, administrators and library staff.

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Guiding students to become self-determining learners should be the ultimate goal of any teacher. This is especially true for reading. The benefits that come with being a lifelong reader are plenty.

For starters, lifelong readers tend to make more money. A study from Italy found that kids who were exposed to more books as a child, along with more opportunities to read, made on average 9 percent more income than counterparts without this access to books. Reasons for this were hard to find. Possibilities include the modeling for youth with having literature available, and the opportunities to explore one’s curiosities.

Second, adults who read literature are more likely to be able to empathize with someone else’s situation. Researchers have found that people who engage in social experiences mediated through fiction could better empathize with others’ situations. This happens because readers practice their “perspective-taking” skills when they put themselves in the shoes of the characters. This skill can transfer to a person’s life.

Most surprisingly, people who read on a regular basis may actually live longer. According to a recent study, book readers out lived their non book reader counterparts on an average of 23 months. This almost-two year difference in health benefits was reserved for book readers; newspaper and magazine connoisseurs only saw limited benefits. A possible reason is literature incites more cognition on the part of the reader. Consuming news, while important, is a one way street.

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Reading to children has been repeatedly shown to improve their reading, writing and communication skills, logical thinking, concentration and general academic aptitude… as well as inspire a love of reading. The SAG-AFTRA Foundation records well-known actors reading children’s books and makes graphically dynamic videos so that children around the world can be read to with just the click of a Storyline Online video book image.
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