I have to laugh. You blew past "Text connections are taught best through a meta-cognitive strategy" and choked on "Good connections help readers to use what they already know to help them understand the text and create vivid mental images"?
I'm sorry for laughing, but this article is written in academic-speak. There is very little relation to actual English.
The author is trying to say that children learn to read better if you help them to understand that what they read in books can be linked (or connected) to things in their own lives. (It may even be true. )