The organization Reading is Fundamental receives federal funding to provide books to low income children. They commissioned a study to determine if their efforts are having an impact on children and education. The study, Children’s Access to Print Material and Education-Related Outcomes presented in June of 2010, showed that providing children with access to interesting, age appropriate print material had a positive impact on them in four key ways:
1. It improved their reading performance.
2. It helped them learn the basics of reading.
3. It caused them to read more and for longer periods of time.
4. It improved their attitude toward reading and learning in general.
While you may think that this is certainly intuitive, it provides concrete proof that access to reading material influences reading. Owning the material was not a factor, as children who were loaned books and magazines showed the same outcomes. Reading need not be expensive. Public libraries, school libraries, and other ways to borrow books are just as effective as owning books.
The report also discusses the finding that increased access to reading material combined with giving the caregivers guidance on how to read to the child and encouraging them to interact with the child about reading caused the children to read more.
Guidance and tips for parents to help with reading is one of the pillars of the READS program, and it works with any reading material for kids in grades 1 – 4. Even better, it helps make reading homework fun for you and your child.