Reading is a foundation for learning, yet a vast gap exists in access to books for low-income neighborhoods.
According to the Handbook of Literacy Research, in low income neighborhoods, the ratio of books per child is just one Age-appropriate book for every 300 children. Without books in the home, children lack the opportunity to practice reading skills and are exposed to fewer opportunities to build their vocabularies.
While these limitations can hinder personal performance, multiple studies correlate low literacy rates with social concerns like elevated drop-out rates, reliance on welfare programs and criminal activity.
Literacy is a cause that affects the community as a whole. Learn how you can champion literacy in your community with these tips:
• Give Books to Children
• Visit the library
• Create reading-inspired traditions
• Participate in events supporting literacy
• Encourage Kids to Get Hands-On
• Start a Neighborhood Library
• Model Good Reading Habits for Kids
• Support organizations that promote literacy
Children thrive on routines and rituals, and incorporating books into special moments can be an especially effective way to establish positive connections with books and the joy of reading. At home, traditions might be as simple as bedtime stories or reading parties where the whole family dons pajamas early and gathers in a room to read together, whether quietly or out loud. You can also tie reading traditions to special celebrations, like reading a favorite story together before heading to bed on the eve of a birthday or holiday.
Children learn from the examples set by trusted grown-ups. Sharing your love of reading with a child demonstrates you value learning and education. You can encourage children to mimic your interest in reading by sharing stories about the books you enjoyed most when you were their age and choosing to spend quiet time reading together in place of screen time.