Most of us would remember our favorite book from our childhood and could at least come up with one title that mesmerized us. This is because books create powerful memories of stories and characters; they inspire the imagination of children and become treasured for their lifetimes.
The same can’t be said about the kids of present generation who grow up with limited access to books, that means that the kids grow up without creating those memories and so many people take it for granted. It has been observed that a lack of books in the house is directly related to lower reading scores and struggle in school. Another more alarming problem is that those students who are not able to read proficiently before 3rd grade are more likely to leave school without taking the diploma.
The low literacy causes high damage to the society as a whole. Because of non-productivity in the workforce, crime and loss of tax revenue due to unemployment, U.S. has to suffer loss of $225 billion every year.
But here is the good news, this problem has a solution. If there are books in the house then it is found that the children may have better reading abilities. Presence of books provokes students to read more frequently and for much longer times, this also improves the overall attitude towards learning.
There is no doubt that promoting literacy in your home and community is worth the investments of your time and money. But, where do we start?
Get reading in daily routine: It’s much easier for parents to include bed time story reading into the routine of young kids. Do not stop because their school has started or they can read it on their own now. You need to commit the night time and read it together. Kids get encouraged to read when they see you reading books.
Question your kids while you read: This habit can improve the critical thinking of your child by manifolds. Ask questions such as “How are the brothers in story just like you and your brother?”
Gift them books! Next time you celebrate holidays or birthday of your kid, consider giving a book as a gift –it would be best if you gift a book that you loved in your childhood. Make sure you read at least one of those books with your kid.
Share the books. The best way to increase knowledge is by sharing it. You should share books in the community and exchange titles. Donate your old books to public libraries and schools, or just go to a book exchange club. Even better, whenever you buy a book get two copies, one to read and other to donate.
Show your support to literacy causes. There are non-profits and companies out there that promote literacy on a larger scale. One popular program is The Literacy Project run by Pizza Hut. The program has benefited millions of children across the country through reading. You can make your little contribution by donating your books.