In a study of literacy among 20 ‘high income’ countries, the United States ranked 12th.
44% of American adults do not read a BOOK in a year.
1 in 4 children in America grows up without learning how to read.
Students who don’t read proficiently by the 3rd grade are 4 times likelier to drop out of school.
2/3rds of students who cannot read proficiently by the end of 4th grade will end up in jail or on welfare.
Over 70% of America’s inmates cannot read above a 4th grade level.
Nearly 85% of the juveniles who face trial in the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate, proving there is a close relationship between illiteracy and crime. Over 60% of all inmates are functionally illiterate.
Some states determine how many prison beds will be needed in future years in part on how well current elementary students are performing on reading tests.
As of 2011, America was the only free-market country where the current generation was less educated than the previous one.
What Can Be Done About It?
November is National Family Literacy Month and many schools, libraries and literacy organizations are participating through book clubs, read-a-thons, book drives and more.
Here are some simple things to promote reading within your family:
• Read and promote a love of reading in others by example and by encouraging members of your family to read.
• Research shows that reading aloud to your child is the single most important thing you can do to help prepare your children for reading and learning. Spend 15 minutes a day reading to your child. Reading aloud develops language and literacy skills—increased vocabulary, phonics and comprehension. Take a favorite book and read it to your child.
• Have your child read for 30 minutes before allowing them to watch TV or play video games. Many reading apps are available for children, such as Tales2Go, which offer thousands of popular stories for kids.
• Focus on expanding your child’s vocabulary, and teach them a new word each day.
• Support your local library by donating books or your time by participating in their programs. Take your children to the library every week to pick books of their choice to read.
• Take your child to a local bookstore and let them browse and pick a story of their own choosing to read.
• Give books as presents to your child to promote a sense that books are special and important.