| February 9, 2016

What Happens When a Father Reads to His Son Every Day?


Nana reads to his son every single day. And his devotion seems to be paying off. In fact, the results are spectacular.

Nana’s son, Oswald, is just four years old. But don’t let his tender age and bashful demeanor fool you. Despite being the youngest in his class, Oswald has become quite the enabler among his peers:‘‘Through practice, my son has improved very much at reading. In school he leads his classmates to read on the blackboard all the time. He is the best reader in his class, even though he is the youngest.’’

a dad in Ghana uses Worldreader library on his mobile phone to read to his son. These results aren’t all that surprising. Research shows that if a child is read to 6-7 times a week, the child’s mental age will grow by an average of 12 months – that’s mind-blowing!

Since Nana started reading to his son, Oswald’s understanding of the world around him has continued to expand and his reading, writing and speaking skills have improved greatly. ‘‘It is helping my boy very much. Now, I even find him taking my phone, opening up Worldreader and going to the library to find a favourite book to read to himself. He asks me to help him pronounce certain words,’’ shares the proud father.

Nana isn’t the only parent that has discovered the delightful power of reading to his child. Across the developing world, thousands of parents are doing the same. A recent study by UNESCO found that 33% of mobile readers in the developing world are using their mobile phones to read to children.

There’s something we find particularly remarkable about Nana. His passion for education is inspiring. Aside from being a dedicated father, Nana is the owner of a school, which he visits regularly to spend time reading to the children. ‘‘I visit the primary classes twice a week to read a story with the children from the Worldreader library. After every section I conduct dictation on the new words and the result is awesome. I also write some short stories on the classroom walls from the library to benefit those who need to read several times before recognizing the words,’’ he tells us.

a school in africa using the Worldreader library on a mobile phone to read books to students

At the school, teachers read books to students using Worldreader library on their mobile phone.

Nana has understood something that is fundamental to a child’s growth: Reading. And this simple act of reading to a child is clearly having ripple effects that reach far beyond the individual child’s growth. Now imagine the unique story of each of these parents who have decided to read stories to their children. Each one of them is changing their children’s learning outcomes for the better. Each one of them is a true literary hero.   

If you’re interested in reading to your children using the Worldreader library on your mobile phone, just go to read.worldreader.org on your mobile phone.