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Read one-on-one with your little ones!

May 17, 2012
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Momania: A Blog for Busy Moms

Did your child have 1000 hours of one-on-one reading by first grade?

12:35 am March 22, 2012, by Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

I was listening to CNN on the radio recently and they were doing a story about politicians helping out in Washington schools by going in and reading one on one with kids and the difference that lunch hour could make to their education.

The story threw out this incredible statistic that I had never heard before:

A typical middle class child enters first grade with approximately 1,000 hours of being read to, while the corresponding child from a low-income family averages just 25 of those hours.

I couldn’t find a link to the story on CNN’s website, but I did find the statistic and the source for it on a library’s website.

“A typical middle class child enters first grade with approximately 1,000 hours of being read to, while the corresponding child from a low-income family averages just 25 of those hours, such differences in the availability of book resources may have unintended and pernicious consequences for low-income children’ long term success in schooling. M. Adams, Beginning to read. (MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1990).”

That early one-on-one reading time and having books in the home has been heavily linked to children becoming learners and their success later as students.

Here are more surprising (maybe stunning is a better word) stats from the library’s website:

“Literacy Facts and Statistics

Compiled by Jeanine Asche
Youth, Family and Literacy Services Manager
San Mateo County Library

“Most of the reading problems faced by today’s adolescents and adults are the result of problems that might have been avoided or resolved in their early childhood years (National Research Council, 2000.  “Reading is typically acquired relatively predictably by children who… have had experiences in early childhood that fostered motivation and provided exposure to literacy in use. National Research Council, 2000″

“The single most significant factor influencing a child’s early educational success is an introduction to books and being read to at home prior to beginning school.” National Commission on Reading, 1985

“The only behavior measure that correlates significantly with reading scores is the number of books in the home. An analysis of a national data set of nearly 100,000 United States school children found that access to printed materials–and not poverty–is the “critical variable affecting reading acquisition.” Jeff McQuillan, The Literacy Crisis: False Claims, Real Solutions, 1998. Children who have not already developed some basic literacy practices when they enter school are three to four times more likely to drop out in later years.  National Adult Literacy Survey, 1993″

“Great disparities exist among middle-and low income communities in resources available in homes or child-care sites.  Feitelson, and Goldstain for example found that 60 percent of the kindergartners in neighborhoods where children did poorly in school did not own a single book.  D. Feitelson and Z. Goldstein,  The patterns of book ownership;. Reading Teacher 89, 924-30 (1986).”

“61 percent of low-income families have no books at all in their homes for their children. While low-income children have–on average–roughly four children’s books in their homes, a team of researchers recently concluded that nearly two thirds of the low-income families they studied owned no books for their children. Reading Literacy in the United States, 1996.”

“60% of the kindergartners in neighborhoods where children did poorly in school did not own a single book.  The Patterns of Book Ownership and Reading, D. Feitelson and Z. Goldstein, 1986″

“A typical middle class child enters first grade with approximately 1,000 hours of being read to, while the corresponding child from a low-income family averages just 25 of those hours, such differences in the availability of book resources may have unintended and pernicious consequences for low-income children’ long term success in schooling. M. Adams, Beginning to read. (MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1990).”

“Children in low-income families lack essential one-on-one reading time. A recent report by the Packard and MacArthur Foundations found that the average child growing up in a middle class family has been exposed to 1,000 to 1,700 hours of one-on-one picture book reading. The average child growing up in a low-income family, in contrast, has only been exposed to 25 hours of one-on-one reading. Jeff McQuillan, The Literacy Crisis: False Claims, Real Solutions, 1998.”

“The most successful way to improve the reading achievement of low-income children is to increase their access to print. Communities ranking high in achievement tests have several factors in common: an abundance of books in public libraries, easy access to books in the community at large and a large number of textbooks per student.  Newman, Sanford, et all. “American’s Child Care Crisis: A Crime Prevention Tragedy”; Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, 2000. …”

She has more great statistics about how a lack of reading and books affects a child long after they eave school but I was worried it was getting too long and you wouldn’t read it. Check the link for more information.

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