Reading is transformative. Reading impacts how we communicate with others and bridges how we identify with others. Reading is a vital foundational skill for learning at every age. Unlocking a love for reading while a young person, can open the doors to a lifelong love of learning and exploration. And creating a lifelong love for learning is a big part of our mission here at Catalyst. 

Catalyst Academy teacher reading to students

Reading benefits us psychologically. Reading can inform how we understand the world. 

Reading to and with our scholars in grades K-2 is one of the best things caregiving adults can do. Not only does it bring children and adults closer, it helps young minds expand, learn vocabulary and begin to interpret the world around them.

Here are a few ways that reading matters:

  1. Reading improves focus. Reading can help little kids learn to sit still and focus for longer and longer periods of time. 
  2. Reading helps children learn — vocabulary, cadence, expression, the ways our voices and faces change with punctuation and wording. 
  3. Reading sparks creativity. Often children use their imaginations to see a story, or in addition to the illustrations. 
  4. Reading encourages empathy in children and adults. We all benefit from recognizing the social and emotional state of others. 
  5. Reading has been proven to boost IQ points and improve neural pathways in the brain.  
  6. Reading builds independence and self-confidence

Catalyst Academy scholar with RIF book backpack

Some favorite K-2 books from our recent RIF event:

  • Roots of Rap: 16 Bars on the 4 Pillars of Hip-Hopfrom folk tales to spirituals, this book celebrates the fashion and style, poetry and politics, art and history that swirl to the beats of rap.
  • Mae Among the Starsthis book is about a little girl with a dream as big as the sky
  • Kamala Harris: Rooted in Justicethis book tells the story of Kamala Harris, the first Black woman to become Vice President of the United States
  • Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut –  sitting in the barbers chair wrapped in a cape is like being a superhero sitting on a throne, surrounded by strong Black men showing him all that he can be
  • I Got The Rhythmin this fun book, a little girl’s walk through her neighborhood is a hip-shaking, knee-knocking adventure

And some other beloved books of K-2 families who love reading:

  • Skippy Jon Jones – a cat who thinks he’s a chihuahua
  • Stellaluna – a bat who gets lost and gets adopted by a bird family
  • Elmer – a patchwork colored elephant in a herd of grey elephants
  • The Paper Bag Princess – a young girl who rescues her prince and discovers she doesn’t need him after all
  • Edwina, the Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She Was Extinct – the friendly neighborhood dinosaur makes a discovery
  • Princess Hyacinth (The Surprising Tale of a Girl Who Floated) – this spunky princess makes the most of her situation
  • Make Way for Ducklings – ducks on the move in a big city
  • The Adventures of Polo  – this book is a little different – a picture book with no written words, so the “reader” gets to make up the words. Your scholars can  “read” to you!

It’s safe to say reading is so much more than literacy. Reading helps with memory, problem-solving and logic. As tempting as it might be to skip reading to a child or let them skip finishing a book, don’t! Reading is changing their brains. And yours. 

Catalyst is enrolling now for K-2. Join us! 

About Catalyst

Catalyst Academy Charter School’s mission is to prepare all students for college, career, and life. Catalyst Academy Charter School’s core values of Belong. Grow. Achieve. reflect the school’s deep commitment to cultivating an inclusive supportive school community where everyone – children and adults – is focused on learning every day, in order for all students to define and achieve their dreams. Catalyst Academy Charter School’s education model is designed to close both the achievement and opportunity gap.  The approach couples rigorous core academics with a broad offering in the arts and sciences. Students will experience STEM learning daily and arts programming four days per week.Enroll your Kinder, First, or Second grader today!