The latest Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report was released this week, offering a glut of new statistics to delve through in order to try and find out why Little Johnny can or cannot read. Among the survey's many findings is a reiteration of how important it is to allow children a degree of autonomy when planning their reading routines. Here's how Scholastic put it:
"Ninety-one percent of children ages 6–17 say, 'My favorite books are the ones that I have picked out myself.'"
Educator Lois Bridges wrote a piece in today's Washington Post in which she analyzes the data and comes to a similar conclusion:
"Independent reading, both at school and at home, builds successful readers. What’s more, the research shows that giving our students a say in what they read is key. And from our experience, we also know frequent reading leads to becoming a proficient reader, which helps a child thrive personally and academically. ... Classroom-based independent-reading programs that invite reading choice and promote reading pleasure give rise to kids who not only read, but, more importantly, who want to read."
Bridges is one of many educators who believes allowing children an opportunity to pick which books to read will turn large swaths of infrequent readers into frequent readers. The Scholastic survey found that 75 percent of kids deemed to be infrequent readers (those who read for fun less than one day per week) say they haven't read a book for fun in a while. Those children could be swayed toward the side of higher readership if graphic novels, sci-fi, and other forms of literature were more welcomed in the classroom.
The survey also notes that being read to as a young child by a parent is a major determining factor in whether you grow up to become a frequent reader.
Check out the link below for the big breakdown of the survey's findings.
Read more at Scholastic.
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