We always knew reading was important to learning and life (and a great pastime), but it wasn’t until LOL Bookshare that we realized how necessary reading and literacy truly are.
According to The Children’s Reading Foundation “by the end of third grade, 74 percent of struggling readers won’t ever catch up.” 74 percent!!! As a matter of fact, studies have shown that reading proficiency by third grade is a major indicator of whether or not a child will graduate high school. There is a whole national campaign called The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading built around this idea. This is why it is vital to reach children as early as possible. Early literacy puts them on track for later success.
When parents read to their children the difference shows in children’s behavior and academic performance. And according to a new study, the difference also shows in their brain activity.
The consequences of illiteracy are many and harmful in several respects. As well as affecting illiterate individuals themselves in their daily lives and often jeopardizing their future, this scourge has a significant effect on society, both socially and economically.
- 85 percent of all juveniles who interface with the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate.
- More than 60 percent of all prison inmates are functionally illiterate.
- Penal institution records show that inmates have a 16% chance of returning to prison if they receive literacy help, as opposed to 70% who receive no help.
This in no way means that anyone over the age of 5 is a lost cause. Those are the current statistics, but we can work together to make a change. Admittedly, we are not experts, but we have made some observations. Children learn by example and so it is not just giving a child a book, but showing them the joys of reading. It is parents, guardians and other adult role models reading to them and reading for themselves. As an added bonus, there is a Yale University study that says reading novels for more than three and a half hours per week can increase your lifespan. So while you are improving a child’s life you can lengthen your own.
The most successful people on the planet are also the people likeliest to devote an hour a day to reading and learning.