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In the early years of children's lives, parents are their most important teachers and the verbal environment they provide by talking, reading and singing to their children sets the stage for children's language learning. Reading aloud can help your baby enjoy time with you, practice language and learn about the world. This love of books, language and communication will help your child be ready to learn and ready to read in school.
This isn't just an American problem. Hundreds of thousands of Canadian children are growing up without enough. Low-income children, especially minorities and aboriginals, are growing up at an increased risk of preventable diseases -- diseases both classically medical and mental health related that arise as a result of their early living conditions and will affect us all. These numbers don't simply represent difficult childhoods; they mark a huge group of Canadians who are growing up without the supportive environments they need to develop into healthy adults.