Valentine’s Day is Carol Anne St. George’s favorite holiday, and she has a way of making the day special for everyone around her. St. George, an assistant professor and literacy expert at the Warner School of Education, is inviting families and educators to nurture the love that grows through reading this Valentine’s Day — and every day — by taking the time to read to someone special.

The Love for Reading Day (Feb. 14), sponsored by the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education and themed “Share Your Love for Reading With a Child,” is a new annual event designed to celebrate a love of reading and to ignite and nurture reading at home and in the community through a new social media campaign. This Feb. 14, readers near and far are encouraged to document, share, and tag photos of themselves reading aloud to children on social media, using the hasthtag #read4luv.

“Reading enhances lives in so many ways,” St. George says. “For children, both young and old, reading aloud improves vocabulary, builds knowledge, improves school success, and strengthens family relationships. Our goal is to help promote the importance of reading aloud to children.”

Research shows that reading aloud daily to children improves their long-term reading success and sets them up for a lifelong love of books and reading.

“Children who are read to and read themselves succeed in school and in life,” she says. “Parents play an instrumental role in helping kids learn to read and love to read throughout childhood. All it takes is 15 minutes a day of reading together to have an impact.”

To help show the value of reading with children this Valentine’s Day, share pictures of reading with your Valentine on social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) and tag your photos with the hashtag #read4luv. If you don’t have a young one in the house and want to share your love of reading, post photos of reading to your favorite critter or teddy bear.

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