The Early Literacy Crisis

http://www.parenting.com/article/the-early-literacy-crisis

It’s heartbreaking to realize that our world is so often such an unfair place.  That some children are born to parents who are actively involved in their lives and provide the stimulating, loving, and nurturing environment which they need to thrive, while other children are born into poverty and almost certain to fail… in school and in life.

 

“Research has repeatedly shown that access to books and one-on-one reading time is an important predictor of future literacy skills. Reading to your baby from infancy on exposes her to the alphabet, to the sounds that words make, and to the idea that print letters translate into spoken words. Talking to your child about a story boosts understanding and vocabulary.”

 

But the hard truth is that many families cannot even afford books.

 

“Children also need access to books, and far too many don’t have that. While a child growing up in a middle-class neighborhood will own an average of 13 books at any given time, low-income communities average about one book for every 300 children…”

 

This just should not be…

 

“Having reading difficulties also increases the odds that a child will drop out of school and have a criminal record. States like California and Indiana have even factored in the number of third-graders who are not reading at grade level when planning future jail construction.”

Many of these children in lower-income areas don’t even have the benefit of rich spoken language and one-on-one, consistent interaction with a caring adult.

 

“One often-cited study estimates that by the time kids enter school, there can be a difference of 30 million words heard by children growing up in well-off households versus children in poorer ones.”

 

How can we bridge this gap?!

 

“A poll by the Pearson Foundation and Jumpstart found that while 95 percent of Americans consider early childhood literacy an important issue, they were not aware that reading to a child between the ages of 3 and 5 is critical for future achievement.”

 

Let’s help spread the word!  Reading to children is absolutely essential to their future success.  Donate books.  Volunteer some time.  Consider joining an advocacy group in your own community.

 

All children deserve an equal chance for a bright and promising future.

 

We CAN help change their destiny!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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