Family Reading Cirlce


The term was coined by Margaret McNamara (a former teacher) in 1966, when she became made aware that many of her students did not own books. Unfortunately, this realization is still seen as prevalent today! According to Law, F., 2nd, Mahr, T., Schneeberg, A., & Edwards, J. (2017), children by the age of 5 should know and have a vocabulary of up to or over 10,000 words. A, 2019, study lead by Jessica Logan, out of the Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy at Ohio State University, purports that children who have been read a book once a day from the ages of birth to 5 would have heard and be able to recognize over 290,000 MORE WORDS than their peers by the time they enter kindergarten! Taking into consideration the communities we serve, it’s imperative that we do our part to support the journey of reading and learning for our little ones and their families!

Children from birth to 5 learn at a much faster pace than any time after. Fathers, families, and caregivers that read to young children strengthen existing links among brain cells and support the formation of new ones. When children learn to read at an early age, they have greater general knowledge, expand their vocabulary, and become more fluent readers.  Starting to read to children early helps them recognize more words by sight, enabling them to learn more from and about their environment. They also have improved attention spans and better concentration. Overall, reading improves linguistic skills in the form of a richer vocabulary, correct grammar, improved writing, better spelling, and more articulate oral communication (James, Sinimol, 2022)

We need more opportunities to formally engage fathers and families in their child’s literary development. The Center for Urban Families (CFUF), a longtime grant recipient of the Baltimore Community Foundation (BCF), creates the partnerships parents need and we are excited to announce the return of our Family Reading Circle Series and the Little Library!  On March 2, CFUF relaunched its Family Reading Circle Series, sponsored by and funded, in part, by BCF. This exciting program was halted by the pandemic.

The Family Reading Circle Series has several community partners, including the Enoch Pratt Free Library, the Campaign for Grade Level Reading Baltimore, and Baltimore City Head Start.