We love supporting children from their earliest days of reading. Our schools are print-rich environments where teachers understand how to cultivate a love of literature for each age child. We are having a blast exploring Storybook Tales this month in our Exploratorium and look forward to our Storybook events at the end of this month. It is wonderful to see our young learners selecting their favorite books, characters, and weaving their own flights of fancy.
Did you know that reading is more than entertainment for young children?
According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a divison of the U.S. Department of Education1, 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
As you enjoy family time this fall, make sure books are part of the mix! Select and provide books and print materials to fill your home… point out and read aloud text as you see it in your daily life… and set aside time for family stories! You will be building great readers and cultivating a lifelong love of literature.
1 U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2000.
2 U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, from http://www.nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id+56.
3 Educational Testing Service, 1999. America’s Smallest School: The Family.