Reading for life

Today’s world is full of problems.  Matter of fact, we have more problems than we can throw a stick at.  What has happened to America?  There was a time when reading, writing, and arithmetic helped to create the greatest nation on earth, and the subjects and people who knew them, were well-respected.  Education meant something.  Now, not only is education one of the most disrespected institutions we have, but also the lack of education has helped to create an America full of problems.  How can we solve all those problems and make America great again?

As a teacher, I come across students every day who struggle with one of the most basic issues of learning–reading. If we help our students to read better and more, we can create a more educated environment (and improve tests scores).

What can one person do to help resolve the overwhelming mess we are in? READ.  We must ensure that our children can read and continue to be life-long learners through reading.  Start reading today, and maybe, just maybe, your child or grandchild will pick up a book too.

Did you know…

  1.  One in four children in America grow up without learning how to read.
  2. As of 2011, America was the only free-market OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) country where the current generation was less well education than the previous generation.
  3. Kids who don’t read proficiently by 4th grade are four times likelier to drop out of school.
  4. Two-thirds of students who cannot read proficiently by the end of 4th grade will end up in jail or on welfare.
  5. Over 70 percent of America’s inmates cannot read above a 4th grade level.
  6.  Nearly 85 percent of the juveniles who face trial in the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate, proving that there is a close relationship between illiteracy and crime.  More than 60 percent of all inmates are functionally illiterate.
  7. Fifty-three percent of 4th graders admitted to reading recreationally “almost every day,” while only 20 percent of 8th graders could say the same.
  8. Seventy-five percent of Americans who receive food stamps perform at the lowest two levels of literacy, and 90 percent of high school dropouts are on welfare.
  9. Teenage girls, ages 16 to 19, who live at or below the poverty level and have below average literacy skills are six times more likely to have children out of wedlock than the girls their age who can read proficiently.
  10. Reports show that low literacy directly costs the healthcare industry over $70 million every year.

As adults, we need to change the future for our children.  We can do this. Model reading to your children, read with them, read to them, read around them…read, read, read.  Talk positively about education.  Encourage your children to love school.  Show them that we can all make a difference by reading and learning.  Let’s all work together to bring respect back to learning.  Let’s start today!

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