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Read it and reap!

By EJ Freeburn

In today’s fast-paced culture, it feels impossible to find the time to read anything other than a status update on Facebook, a Twitter feed, or the ticker at the bottom of the television screen. But if we can find time to aimlessly scroll through feeds and updates, then surely we can find time to devote to reading a book—even if it’s just a few pages each day.

Commit to reading ten pages each evening for one month, and you will read 12 books this year—that’s 12 more books than nearly half of the American population reads in a year! That’s right—44% of adults did not read a book this past year. This is attributed to the fact that 45 million adults today are functionally illiterate and read below a fifth grade level.

We have all probably laughed at Jeff Foxworthy’s popular TV program, Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader. But it’s no laughing matter when you examine the statistics: Two-thirds of the fourth-grade population is unable to read proficiently, making these students’ likelihood of dropping out four times higher than those who can read proficiently.[1] Reading is a necessary skill for the future economic growth of our youth. Literacy studies have shown a direct correlation between illiteracy and poverty: on average, 48.5% of Americans have incomes well below the poverty level due to their inability to read.[2] If you want to stimulate the future economic growth, you need to stimulate the youth of today to maintain reading skills. This is why it is so important for both parents and teachers to continuously encourage our youth to read. If children are exposed to books in the home, as well as in the classroom, they are twice as likely to make reading a part of their daily lives and routines.

word-burglar_cvrThe simple fact is that this generation of Americans is less educated than the previous. That says a lot for us as a free market country that’s designed for economic growth and development.[3]

HeartHouston_cvrEngage your child to read with The Word Burglar by Chris Cander, illustrations by Katherine Tramonte. *Winner of the Children’s Moonbeam 2014 Award for Reading Skills & Literacy.

For ways to get involved in your community and promote literacy, check out The Heart of Houston by Larry Payne.

Bright Sky Press
Where Texas meets Books. Literacy.

[1] DoSomething.org
[2] National Institute for Literacy, national Center for Adult Literacy, The Literacy Company, U.S. Census Bureau.
[3] National Institute for Literacy, national Center for Adult Literacy, The Literacy Company, U.S. Census Bureau.