Let's start with some quick facts about literacy (from the website for American Speech-Language-Hearing Association):

Did You Know?
* 1 out of every 5 of our nation’s school-age children suffer from reading failures.
* A majority of all poor readers have an early history of spoken-language deficits.
* A child who is not a fluent reader by 4th grade is likely to struggle with reading in adulthood.
* Poor reading and writing skills have a devastating lifelong impact – 75% of school dropouts report reading problems, and at least half of adolescents and young adults with criminal records have reading difficulties.

Let's break these down a bit.

"1 out of every 5 of our nation’s school-age children suffer from reading failures." Doesn't seem like a huge amount, but that's 20% when the number should be much lower in my opinion. Considering the importance of reading and reading comprehension for pretty much any profession, this number is just too high.

"A child who is not a fluent reader by 4th grade is likely to struggle with reading in adulthood."
That means that it's critical to start helping these children from a young age. Reading at home is ideal, but sometimes that just isn't possible (more on that in another post). That's why organizations like READ, which serves children in kindergarten and the 1st grade, are so important. We need to take every opportunity to really nurture their skills by giving them the right attention and having lots and lots of patience.

"A majority of all poor readers have an early history of spoken-language deficits."
This means that it might be easier to target the children with the most need if we really pay attention.

"75% of school dropouts report reading problems, and at least half of adolescents and young adults with criminal records have reading difficulties."
This reinforces the fact that literacy goes beyond being able to read a book and write a report on it. There are lasting affects to what might seem like a small problem. It's not just a bump in the road, it's a real problem.

Stay tuned for more! And don't forget, you can still sponsor me to support READ.

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