It’s a simple story, really.
We’ve known for decades that student reading in America is in trouble. Student reading scores in elementary and high school continue to decline.
The problem has only gotten worse thanks to modern distractions like video games and smartphones.
We’ve also known the solution for decades.
Following its alarming report, A Nation at Risk, the Reagan Administration issued its recommendations in the document, Becoming a Nation of Readers. Its sage advice could be whittled down to this single, simple statement:
“The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children.”
The answer is right there. We’ve known it for decades. How to help children prepare to become adept readers and successful students? Read to them.
What we didn’t know is how to make that happen. For generations, parents have read aloud to their children. But in modern times that practice has declined. And no one knew how to reverse that trend.
Enter Read to Them. We have the answer. We’ve figured out that the way to reach parents and families is through the schools. We know that parents earnestly want the best for their children, but in a sense many of them have forgotten how.
We’ve also figured out how to make the practice of reading aloud fun – by making it a community event. When everyone in the same elementary school community is reading the same book together – the experience is infectious. That helps families establish the habit of reading together. And that habit is what reverses the trend.
If Becoming a Nation of Readers supplied the What – Read to Them now supplies the How.
We know our family literacy programs work at reversing these alarming decades-old trends. We know our programs increase parent and family engagement. And we know our programs have a positive impact on student outcomes.
We invite you to check out these 12 short video charts to see why it’s worth supporting our family literacy efforts and Donate to Read to Them.
We know we’re making a difference in hundreds of thousands of children’s lives. With your help we can do more and no longer be a nation at risk.