Literacy Facts

  • Giving children access to print materials is associated with positive behavioral, educational, and psychological outcomes.
  • Frequency and the quality of words a child hears during their first three years of life are critically important in shaping the child's language development.
  • Children who are read to at least three times a week by a family member are almost twice as likely to score in the top 25% in reading than children who were read to less than three times a week.
  • Children growing up in homes with many books, get 3 years more schooling than children from bookless homes, independent of their parents' education, occupation, and class.
  • Children in professional families hear approximately 11 million words per year; children in working class families hear 6 million words; and children in welfare families hear approximately 3 million words annually.
  • 62% of parents with a high socioeconomic status read to their children every day, compared to 36% of parents with a low socioeconomic status.
  • Research has found that 61 percent of low-income families have no books at all in their homes for their children.
  • In low-income neighborhoods the ratio of book to child is 1 to 300 (1 book for every 300 children).
  • 87% of students who reported reading on their own time once a month or more performed at the Proficient level, while students who never or hardly ever read for fun performed at the Basic level.
  • Students who read for fun every day scored the highest.
  • Out-of-school reading habits of students has shown that even 15 minutes of independent reading can expose students to more than a million words of text a year.

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