Why is reading important for children’s wellbeing?

Tuesday, March 15th, 2022

Children that engage with reading are three times more likely to have high levels of mental wellbeing than those who do not (UK National Literacy Trust, 2018).

Business in the Community Ireland

KPMG volunteer reads with a child from City Quay NS, Dublin 2

Reading allows children to escape into new realms, and helps them to unwind and cope with stress and anxiety. Reading aloud together can be a fun activity that helps boost their mood and make them feel more positive, especially if the book is humorous. Adding expression and animated sounds and actions can help children to feel happy!

The benefits of reading for children are clear, and feedback from our most recent Time to Read evaluation substantiates this. Several Teachers commented on the difference the programme had made to children’s overall wellbeing and mental health.

“One child was struggling with some personal issues and the interaction with her volunteers really cheered her up and gave her an avenue to express herself. Her mum reported that she jumped out of bed on the Time To Read mornings and was in good humour. This was not the norm at this time. I believe the programme really helped this child’s mental health during a difficult period.”

“One particular child really struggles with anxiety. They were nervous starting it the previous year when it was face to face. However, this year the child loved each session and was really excited about it. They were participating in the sessions without any support.”

“One child has difficulties around anxiety and self-esteem but these were never evident as soon as he sat in and began the session.”

Not only does reading help lift children’s mood, but it also helps them see the world through the eyes of others, helping them to understand their own experiences. Cultivating this empathy enables them to connect and care for those around them. This is a crucial skill that enables capacity building, which is especially needed in times of rapid change.

After over two years of living through the Covid-19 pandemic, our schools and communities need effective ways to increase the well-being of children. So why don’t you take the time to read with a child that could benefit from this one-to-one attention? If this sounds like something for you or your teams, please get in contact with Germaine Noonan or Aisling O’ Brien and sign up for our Time to Read programme today.

Business in the Community Ireland

KPMG volunteer visits Hodges Figgis with the children from City Quay NS, Dublin 2

“You can find magic

wherever you look.

Sit back and relax,

all you need is a book.”

― Dr. Seuss

Article written by Aisling O’Brien, BITCI