March is National Reading MonthMarch 3, 2021 | Category: Articles
With March being National Reading Awareness Month, News4Jax and Douglas Law Firm want to shine a spotlight on classrooms that have demonstrated a passion for reading. There is no question that literacy is an essential element to a child’s development and opens the door to a brighter future.
We want to help 5 local classrooms embrace the joy of reading - parents and teachers - send us a picture, video, or write-in of your child or classroom telling us why they love reading. A member of the morning show team and Douglas Law Firm will announce the winners and present the scholastic gift card to the Teacher/Class. Winners will be announced on March 26th, 2021.
Foundations such as The Literacy Project seek to improve reading skill levels among struggling readers and target the growing illiteracy among school-age children. Some of the most important statistics from the National Institute for Literacy, National Center for Adult Literacy, The Literacy Company, and U.S. Census Bureau underscore the critical need to address illiteracy in the United States:
- Currently, 45 million Americans are functionally illiterate and cannot read above a fifth-grade level
- 50% of adults cannot read a book written at an eighth-grade level
- 57% of students failed the California Standards Test in English
- 1/3 of fourth-graders reach the proficient reading level
- 25% of students in California school systems are able to perform basic reading skills
- 85% of juvenile offenders have problems reading
- 3 out of 5 people in American prisons can’t read
- 3 out of 4 people on welfare can’t read
If you are a parent and want a deeper understanding of the situation, read below for a collection of statistics in the main areas in child literacy to help prepare you to make a difference in the lives of your children.
On Literacy Development and Early Application
- By age 2, a child’s brain is as active as an adult’s and by age 3 the brain is more than twice as active as an adult’s – and stays that way for the first 10 years of life.
- Cognitive processes develop rapidly in the first few years of life. In fact, by age 3, roughly 85% of the brain is developed. However, traditional education takes place in grades K-12, which begin at age five.
- According to the Department of Education, the more students read or are read to for fun on their own time and at home, the higher their reading scores, generally.
- Reading and being read aloud to has an impact that extends beyond just hearing stories.
- In a study of nearly 100,000 U.S. schoolchildren, access to printed materials was the key variable affecting reading acquisition.
- Children’s academic successes at ages 9 and 10 can be attributed to the amount of talk they hear from birth through age 3. Young children who are exposed to certain early language and literacy experiences also prove to be good readers later on in life.
- Books contain many words that children are unlikely to encounter frequently in spoken language. Books for kids actually contain 50% more words that children are unlikely to encounter frequently than regular conversation, TV, or radio.
- The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) found 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%)
- Higher reading exposure was 95% positively correlated with a growing region supporting semantic language processing in the brain.
To read more about on social and cultural impacts of reading, please visit Literacy Project Foundation.