Changing lives one book at a time

14% of adults in this country can’t read this website.
That’s 1 out of every seven people

Click on these bright young readers and their books for more even more startling facts.

Facts about Children’s Literacy

Children who are read to at home have a higher success rate in school.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a division of the U.S. Department of Education, children who are read to at home enjoy a substantial advantage over children who are not:

  • Twenty-six percent of children who were read to three or four times in the last week by a family member recognized all letters of the alphabet. This is compared to 14 percent of children who were read to less frequently.
  • The NCES1 also reported that children who were read to frequently are also more likely to:
    • Count to 20, or higher than those who were not (60% vs. 44%)
    • Write their own names (54% vs. 40%)
    • Read or pretend to read (77% vs. 57%)
  • According to NCES2, only 53 percent of children ages three to five were read to daily by a family member (1999). Children in families with incomes below the poverty line are less likely to be read to aloud everyday than are children in families with incomes at or above poverty.
  • The more types of reading materials there are in the home, the higher students are in reading proficiency, according to the Educational Testing Service.3
  • The Educational Testing Services reported that students who do more reading at home are better readers and have higher math scores; however, students read less for fun as they get older.3
Children who read frequently develop stronger reading skills.

According to the AAP (American Association of Pediatrics), reading is a significant aid in brain development and encourages a solidifying, emotional bond between parent and child. The AAP recommends initiating a daily routine of reading for infants as well as older children. However, their records reveal that only 50% of parents read to their children every day.

Language is the most utilized form of communication. Children who are introduced to books at an early age are more prone to grasp the variances in phonics, which in turn affects their language skills and cognitive abilities. SOURCE:

Learning to read is a crucial step in children’s education because those who fare poorly in the early grades are unlikely to catch up with their more skilled classmates. Scientific American, March 2002

Estimates indicate that at least 20 million of the nation’s 53 million school-age children are poor readers – about two out of five children. National Institutes of Health.

According to the Literacy Connections website, “U.S. Department of Education analysis found that children who were read to at least three times a week by a family member were almost twice as likely to score in the top 25 percent in reading than children who were read to less than three times a week. Just like physical exercise, there are cumulative benefits when you do something regularly.”

Books also can encourage children to “follow their dreams and achieve their potential,” according to the RIF website. “Yes, it seems incredible for a book to launch a life, but it happens every day as hungry, inquisitive young minds reach out and grab hold of the new people, places and ideas that books bring them.”

The average kindergarten student has seen more than 5,000 hours of television, having spent more time in front of the TV than it takes to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Students who develop reading skills at an early age are more likely to graduate from high school and seek post secondary education and training. In addition, research consistently shows that reading itself is one of the most commonly and intensively used skills among all types of jobs across the entire U.S. economy (Journal of Economic Perspectives, and Business Roundtable (BRT) on US literacy).

Reading exercises our brains and is a much more complex task for the human brain than, say, watching TV is. Reading strengthens brain connections and actually builds new connections.

Reading improves concentration, teaches children about the world around them and helps them develop empathy. Through reading, they learn about people, places and events outside their own experience. They are exposed to ways of life, ideas and beliefs about the world which may be different from those which surround them. (BTR on US literacy improvement).

Reading develops a child’s imagination. This is because when we read our brains translate the descriptions we read of people, places and things into pictures. When we’re engaged in a story, we’re also imagining how the characters are feeling.