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DES MOINES, Iowa — Experts said reading together as a family for a few minutes per day is essential and really helps children learn and develop language skills.

The Read Aloud challenge is a national campaign for parents and caregivers to spend 15 minutes per day reading out loud to their children for 21 days straight throughout the month of October.

Sue Woody, the Des Moines Public Library Communication Engagement Manager, said reading out loud has many benefits for children even if they already know how to read on their own.

“It’s a great way to spend time together. Books also open up a world of discussion and allows parents to have important conversations with their kids.

According to the Read Aloud campaign, the number of words a child knows when entering kindergarten is a key predictor of their success.

Woody said reading out loud also encourages creativity.

“Well I think that reading out loud can really bring a book to life. And I really encourage parents to use their voices and exaggerate and talk about the things and encourage their kids to do the same and have them use their exaggeration voices. It’s fun to do a Hagrid accent with your Harry Potter book, together, and it’s fun because it makes the books larger than life,” Woody said.

Reading together is also a great time to bond with each other without other distractions.

One local mom says she loves reading to her kids because it inspires them to find their likes and dislikes.

“They love reading. Now they are more interested because they can check out their own books and they get interested in their own things. They can search through the library and find what they like,” Monica Williams said.

The Read Aloud challenge goes until October 31.