Milburn used techniques such as face-to-face interaction with infants and linking stories to events in children's lives when reading to them.
She studies emergent literacy — the foundational skills that enable children to begin to read and write — such as vocabulary, storytelling, and letter and sound recognition.
"Shared reading" is one way adults can build literacy in all kids, while limiting risk for those who face major learning challenges. Parents and teachers can learn to engage children in conversation with open questions and responsive statements, rather than reading books cover-to-cover. This interaction can enhance a child's understanding of and ability to use language.