Survey Reinforces Value Of Parents Reading with Children

Many kids—even those who can already read independently—cherish time spent reading with a parent, according to Scholastic’s Kids & Family Reading Report: Fifth Edition, released in March. Many of the report’s findings support key principles that Read to Them emphasizes, such as the importance of parental involvement and children reading for pleasure outside of school. Here are a few of the report’s key findings:

  • More than half of children ages 0-5 (54%) are read aloud to at home 5-7 days a week. This declines to one in three kids ages 6-8 (34%) and one in six kids ages 9-11 (17%). Furthermore, four in ten children ages 6-11 who were read books aloud at home when they were younger (40%) say they wished their parents had continued reading aloud to them.
  • When it comes to being read aloud to at home, more than eight in 10 children (83%) across age groups say that love(d) or like(d) it a lot—the main reason being it was a special time with parents.

Furthermore, most parents recognize the paramount importance of reading skills for youngsters, and many kids realize it, too.

  • More than seven out of ten parents of children ages 6-17 (71%) rank strong reading skills as the most important skill a child should have, and more than half of kids (54%) agree.
  • Three out of four parents (75%) wish their children would read more books for fun, and more than seven out of ten wish their children would do more things that did not involve screen time.

The findings also indicate that even in today’s “plugged in” world, many youngsters still prioritize reading for pleasure. Furthermore, even as ebooks become increasingly more available, most kids still value printed books.

  • Half of all children ages 6-17 (51%) are currently reading a book for fun, and another one in five (20%) just finished one.
  • Nearly two out of three children (65%)—up from 2012 (60%)—agree that they will always want to read books in print even through there are ebooks available.

“Independent reading, both at school and at home, builds successful readers,” concludes Lois Bridges, Director of Educational Initiatives for Scholastic, in describing the report. “From our experience, we also know frequent reading leads to becoming a proficient reader, which helps a child thrive personally and academically.”

Read to Them’s Programs Support Key Points in Scholastic Report

And Are Also Supported by Other Research

READALOUD-master675In addition to emphasizing key areas outlined in the Scholastic report, such as promoting reading outside of school and encouraging parental involvement in children’s reading throughout elementary school, Read to Them’s family literacy programs stimulate a general love of reading by creating a culture of reading that includes the school, the family, and the community. Additional research supports the value of this approach.

  • Elementary schools in one Virginia community saw their students’ passage rate on the 3rd-grade reading assessment rise by more than 30 percentage points after participating in the program.
  • Nearly seven out of eight parents (86%) surveyed in a participating New York district believed their children would read more as a result of the program.

“The Scholastic survey once again spotlights the value of parents reading with their children,” says Gary Anderson, program director and founder of Read to Them. “We believe that family literacy is a critical piece of the puzzle in helping children become readers. All of our programs work to create a reading partnership among families, schools, and communities.”