The importance of encouraging your children to read at a very young age.  That's what we'll be covering for the next few weeks, as part of Scholastic Books' campaign "Read Everyday...Lead a Better Life". 

We spoke with Debbie Battles, the Director of Elementary Education for the Palm Beach County School District.  When asked how important early reading really is, Battles said "It is crucial...the first months and years of life really set a course for lifelong learning and development, and the brain develops most rapidly between birth and age five. Some will actually say...even more importantly between birth and age three."

According to Scholastic, research has found:

1) A connection between the amount of time a child reads for fun on their own and reading achievement. 

2) Wide and frequent reading of trade books increases a student's reading achievement.  Scholastic offers a wide variety of trade books.

3) Children in classrooms without literature collections read 50% less than children in classrooms with such collections.

You can win a new Scholastic library for your child's class.  Click Here to find out more.

Meanwhile, the school district has a program of its own going on.  Battles tells us it's called "Happily Ever After Begins with Reading".

She says "Every child in Palm Beach County in elementary school was given a book. And not only were they given a book, they were able to select a book of their choice"

She says research shows that if a child selects his or her own book, they will be more likely to read it over and over again. 

Click Here for more on the Palm Beach County School District's campaign and get tips on encouraging your child to read more often.