Here is an important, indeed, crucial post from the excellent teacher, Jennie!
I will always champion reading aloud to children because I know, first hand, what a huge difference it makes. Some people need to hear all the reasons. I have written plenty of stories about those. Some people need to read statistics.
Words of wisdom from research:
I read to children in my classroom all the time. They have full access to books that are front facing and readily available.
Children copy what they see, and if they see reading, they are far more likely to get books from the bookshelf and read.
Whether it is group reading or independent reading does not matter.
As children become comfortable with books, they take it to the next level, incorporating books into their play.
Often, Gloria is the beneficiary.
The most important thing I do for children is read aloud.