The literacy rates in America have been static for a decade, people seem to have forgotten The Importance of Parenting for Literacy Rates in America.
When you realize that literacy impacts future success, you understand the importance of making sure your child can read and read proficiently.
Reading ability impacts future job opportunities, the ability to complete higher education and sense of self-worth.
About 32 million adults in the United States are unable to read at a proficient level. In a country where K-12 education is compulsory and free, that is a dismal statistic.
National assessment of schools shows that reading proficiency is on the decline in schools, with huge school performance failures in lower-income communities.
As a parent, you may not have control over the other students in your child’s class, how much attention goes to those falling behind or even where you send your child for education.
The one thing you can control is what you do at home and how much of a focus you put on reading in your household.
Local Libraries as One Resource
Historically, children born to illiterate parents have a higher chance of being illiterate.
Factors such as whether reading is encouraged in their homes also play a part in overall proficiency in reading.
However, libraries can fill the gap between schools and home life.
For lower-income families that may not be able to afford books or the internet, the library provides a valuable service that offers both at no charge to patrons.
Libraries also often create programs such as story time events or activities tied to specific books to encourage reading in young children.
Impact of Parents
As a parent, you can have a massive effect on your child’s literacy skills.
Around 34 percent of kids going into kindergarten don’t have the basic language skills necessary to learn to read.
Even though the first three years of school has an impact and kids may begin to narrow the gap, summers increase the deficit if reading isn’t fortified at home during months off from school.
What You Can Do for Your Child
Family literacy has a considerable impact on the literacy of children. Some things you can do to encourage your child to read and improve reading skills include:
- Reading books together from a young age
- Playing word games, such as Apples to Apples or Boulderdash
- Teaching your children the ABCs and what sounds the letters make
- Going to events at the library and encouraging your children to check out books that interest them
- Writing notes and letters to each other
- Participating in local programs that reward reading books — find programs through your library or local restaurants, such as Pizza Hut’s BookIt program
Everyday activities add up to literacy skills over time, so put a little effort in every day.
Help Others in Your Community
Once your children are on the path of reading proficiently, take time to help others in your community who might be struggling.
Volunteer to teach adults how to read, or volunteer in your child’s school to help other kids learn.
When your children see you’re putting in time and effort to help others, they’ll realize how critical reading is to you, and it will become more important to them, too.
Teach Your Child to Love Reading
You have the most significant influence out of anyone on your child.
Allow your child to read books on topics that interest them.
If they love comic books, at least they’re reading. Let them write, read and share what they like with others.
Unfortunately, literacy rates won’t improve until parents get the help they need and the tools to improve it in their own families.
But you can do what you can to encourage reading in your own home, as well as in your neighbors’ homes.
The Importance of Parenting for Literacy Rates in America
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