At an age when most children are barely learning to spell their names, Daliyah Marie Arana has already read more than 1,000 books. Not only can she read well, but she can pronounce her words accurately and completely. The Library of Congress heard about Daliyah and was so inspired, they invited her to come and tour the facility in Washington, D.C.


She was named “Honorary Librarian for the Day” and received books to take home. It was a day she and her family will remember for a long time to come. Daliyah’s mother, Haleema, started reading to her children when they were very little. Daliyah is the youngest child, and she seemed to absorb her mother’s reading like a sponge when she joined in story time with her older siblings.


Haleema entered her daughter into a program through their local library for kids to read up to 1,000 books. They would check out up to 50 at a time with Daliyah’s own library card, and she would read them all. When they returned the books to the library, Daliyah received a small prize for accomplishing the goal. They did this until she had finally reached her goal of 1,000 books and counting.



(Library of Congress)

Daliyah’s love of reading has introduced her to words beyond that of the average four-year-old. Her newest word is “punctiliousness,” from the origin punctilio. Daliyah enjoys learning and sharing new words which she pronounces quite skillfully. Daliyah said, “When I was three, I was sometimes reading like a robot, but now I’m reading like a smart kid.”



She also accurately and impressively pronounced the word “paleontologist,” when asked what she wanted to be when she grew up. She understood that meant she would be studying dinosaur fossils. Whatever her life’s work will be, it is certain this young lady will have the tools to achieve it.


She is even more motivated and inspired to continue reading since her recent tour of the Library of Congress where she met the first woman and first black person to head the library, Carla Hayden.


According to the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Department of Education, children who are read to more frequently in the home enjoy substantial advantages over children who are not read to. It is said that these children benefit by showing higher proficiency in reading levels and higher math scores. These children may also develop a love of reading for pleasure.  


Daliyah is proof that reading to your child can have a lasting and far-reaching impact.  With the love and support of family and a love of reading, she has been placed on a path to discover and accomplish great things.


What are some other good ways to help develop reading skills in children? Let’s discuss here or on Twitter @lcarterwriter.