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The Importance of Reading for Children

Updated on February 18, 2017
Rosie writes profile image

Rosie is a library media specialist. An avid reader and life-long learner, Rosie enjoys sharing her knowledge and expertise in many areas.

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Surprising Facts About Literacy

Unless an adult provides a child with interesting books to look at and positive experiences involving literature, to a child, reading may seem nothing more than boring. What children are incapable of realizing at a young age, is that the personal gain from reading is immeasurable. Time spent reading reaps numerous rewards, from higher test scores in school to more success with employment as an adult.

According to the Literacy Project Foundation, these statistics are true of the United States economy:

  • 3 out of 4 people on welfare can’t read
  • 20% of Americans read below the level needed to earn a living wage
  • Between 46 and 51% of American adults have an income well below the poverty level because of their inability to read
  • Illiteracy costs American taxpayers an estimated $20 billion each year

As children become readers, they accomplish more in every subject area in school; better grades become more attainable. Reading leads to acquiring a vast amount of knowledge and experience.

Reading improves performance in some less obvious ways too. I once read an article about a study that found that children with low intelligence are more likely to hold prejudiced attitudes as adults. Intelligence is increased by reading, allowing readers to become more rational, more responsible, and better thinkers. Reading ability will enable children to make better decisions throughout their lives, and have a clearer understanding and acceptance of other cultures.

Long Term Benefits

Long term benefits can also be described with bibliotherapy, including recreational benefits, social connectedness, and psychological advancements. "Bibliotherapy is an expressive therapy that uses an individual's relationship to the content of books and poetry and other written words as therapy. Bibliotherapy is often combined with writing therapy. Bibliotherapy has been shown to be effective in the treatment of depression. These results have been shown to be long lasting," according to David Burns, author of Feeling Good.

When children are actively engaged in reading, they are focused and interested in subject matter that they want to know more about which often leads to further inquiry. While many adults try to control a child’s reading choices, it is only natural for children to choose reading material that is interesting to them. Even if not matched to their reading level, it is beneficial. An active, engaged reader is always better than a nonreader.

We Are Responsible

Alarmingly, the Literacy Project Foundation has listed these statistics about United States prisons:

  • 3 out of 5 people in American prisons can’t read
  • To determine how many prison beds will be needed in future years, some states actually base part of their projection on how well current elementary students are performing on reading tests

Reading in my mind has a direct correlation to the path one takes in life. The ability to read well and interpret information correctly, allows one to make informative decisions and ultimately to function successfully in society. It is important to read to improve our quality of life in other ways as well.

Print surrounds us in every facet of life. Throughout our lives, we will need to have the ability to read in order to gain financial well-being, to enable us to live safely, and to arm ourselves with knowledge when presented with healthcare concerns as we age. This is an awful lot of information for a child to comprehend. That is why we as parents, teachers, and role models, are responsible for motivating and encouraging our children to read.

It is important to read to improve our quality of life in other ways as well. The ability to read and comprehend material will allow understanding and the ability to function successfully within different environments. Print surrounds us in every facet of life. Throughout our lives, we will need to have the ability to read in order to gain financial well-being, to enable us to live safely, and to arm ourselves with knowledge when presented with healthcare concerns as we age.

More recently, the ability to read may have helped citizens to make informative decisions politically and not to rely on one source for information. Since the news media has in many peoples' opinions, become very biased and quick to report "news" without much information.

More recently, the ability to read may have helped citizens to make informative decisions politically and not to rely on one source for accurate information. Since the news media has in many peoples' opinions, become very biased and quick to report "news" without much information. This is an awful lot of information for a child to comprehend. That is why we as parents, teachers, and role models, are responsible for motivating and encouraging our children to read.

There is so much information that a child will need to be able to comprehend. That is why we as parents, teachers, and role models, are responsible for motivating and encouraging our children to read, to give them the best possible chance of being successful and happy in the life they live.

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    • Rosie writes profile imageAUTHOR

      Rosie writes 

      4 years ago from Virginia

      I am the author - Rosie writes. Thanks for reading Zach.

    • profile image

      zach 

      6 years ago

      who is the author of this article?

    • profile image

      Steve 

      6 years ago

      Bibliotherapy arises out of the natural ability of fiction to cause us to identify with a character whose viewpoint the author is treating us to. The lessons that character learns become the lessons the young reader learns.

      Very powerful!

      http://www.best-childrens-books.com/storytelling-b...

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