We tend to think of reading as a simple process of learning language, letters and sounds, an easy and natural part of growing up. Yet reading is complex; it relies on a child’s ability to focus attention, sit still, recognize sounds and symbols, hold images and associations in memory, follow directions, and process meaning from spoken and written words. Reading relies on the development of the whole child; including the closely entwined aspects of a child’s physical, social and emotional, as well as cognitive health. Good health is much more than the absence of disease. A child’s capacities begin to develop before birth and continue to develop rapidly, fueling and shaping readiness to take on the tasks of learning and schooling. Children’s brains and bones, energy levels and mobility change and mature through the early years of life. This rapid development, including the wiring of the brain, arises from the integration of a child’s physical, social and emotional health. Relationships with consistent and caring adults nurture and influence each of these connected aspects of healthy development, which is directly linked to a child’s learning capacity and progress. If children are to be able to read proficiently by the end of third grade, they need to be healthy and developing language, literacy and reading skills at an appropriate pace.
Cited Source: The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading