>Just 34 percent of fourth graders are reading at an acceptable level in grade four. Only 8 percent are “advanced” readers. On the surface, it may appear to parents that their children have four more years of grade school in order to become acceptable readers, but new studies show the importance of reading by grade four.
Findings by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Baltimore, are the first to show that kids are far more likely to drop out of high school if they can’t read pretty well by fourth grade. Unless America dramatically improves the number of kids who can, a growing proportion of the them will live in poverty as adults. The Foundation contends that the tendency to drop out of high school begins in the early grades when children don’t learn to read. They say dropouts “don’t just happen.”
What can parents do?
* Show that education is important by getting a GED if they didn’t graduate from high school themselves.
* Do all they can to assure that kids attend school every day.
* Show an interest in their children’s reading beginning in first grade. Have them read to you and help them with the words.
* Provide books they like. Let them pick out books at the library or grocery store. Some kids like comic books.
* Don’t let them lose reading skills over the summer. Keep them in practice. Find books they will like to read.
Libraries are known for their books, and we have thousands of them to share for both children and adults.
We’ve added another component to stories for children. TumbleBooks joins Dial a Story as a supplement to books in print.
TumbleBooks is an online book service. Children can watch talking picture books, and older children can read the printed word while listening to the audio story. Log onto TumbleBooks through the library webpage.
Dial a story is a story available on the telephone. Stories are for young children and are changed weekly. 1-888-4ATALE1 (1-888-428-2531)
Reading aloud to children is one of the best ways to help children to discover the joy of reading.
It is never to early–or too late–to start. All children, from youngest to oldest, can benefit from listening to a story read aloud.
Reading aloud encourages children to read of their own, and to become better listeners and students. It helps to build vocabulary and language skills.
When you read aloud together, children learn that reading is important, and they learn that reading is fun.
> Just in time for Children’s Book Week, we are trying out a new subscription to online books for children. Take a look at TumbleBooks and TumbleReadables. The link is also available through our webpage.
These are full text books online, for all age groups. Books for the youngest children have some animation with them. Books for older children are text only.
You can access these books from your home computer or from a library computer.