What is the Invisible Toolbox?

Every child arrives on the first day of school with a lunchbox in one hand and an Invisible Toolbox in the other. At theinvisibletoolbox.org, we are committed to sharing the knowledge that reading aloud to children from infancy enhances the parent-child bond that nurtures social-emotional well-being and builds the Invisible Toolbox of language skills necessary for success in school and life.

The Dilemma: Our Changing Culture

Technology is changing our culture in ways of which we are not yet fully aware. The irony of the information age, however, is undeniable. Literacy proficiency in the United States is decreasing. Check out this clever parody of the beloved classic Goodnight Moon—a spot-on look at the new reality of the twenty-first century.

Despite years of federal initiatives such as No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, and Common Core, the United States is moving backward in literacy achievement. According to a 2014 report from Common Sense Media, a San Francisco nonprofit which focuses on the effects of media and technology on children, “Although American children still spend part of their days reading, they are spending less time doing it for pleasure than decades ago, with significant gaps in proficiency…”  Studies show that children who are read to are more likely to read for pleasure and with greater effect than children who have not.

Early Learning: What Neuroscience Tells Us About Babies

Recent findings in neuroscience (see Your Baby’s Brain: Wired to Connect) confirm that infants begin learning immediately at birth or even before, and the implications are profound. The years before a child comes to school are critical in creating a foundation for lifelong literacy and learning.

The Greatest Gift We Can Give

When we speak, sing, and read to our child from birth, this loving way of engaging builds neural pathways in the brain that become the physical infrastructure for all future learning and loving.