Why do we read with our kids? There are obvious benefits to reading aloud to kids: exposure to syntax helps with the development of language skills, spending time together strengthens bonds, familiarity with plot and characters helps develop schemas that make interpreting higher level material easier, and so on. And these are benefits that any kid gains from being read to, not just those diagnosed with cancer. For our kids, however, there’s an added element of importance to reading together. Between lengthy hospital stays and prolonged treatments, school can sometimes fall by the wayside. It’s a goal of Connecting Champions to help prevent language regression in our kids, and one of the ways we accomplish this is through sharing our favorite stories.Especially with our kids under twelve, reading is often a significant aspect of developing our friendships. Through the consistency of our interactions and our ability to maintain our presence without requiring immediate interaction we can build up the trust that enables our friendships to flourish. Exercising concentration skills and stimulating the brain are important for kids who are planning on returning to an academic environment in the near future, but even more valuable to those facing longer in-patient visits. Reading, which strengthens comprehension skills, also helps children process more complex ideas. This can be useful in guiding children through the cancer process and providing multiple tools for conceptualizing treatment as well as offering stories of hope for the future.