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05 2014

Posted by Katie in YCLA News

Being that today is World Read Aloud Day, I thought I’d write a short blog about the benefits of reading and reading aloud. According to a news article in the USNews, at least 32 MILLION adults cannot read and 20% of high school graduates can’t read. WHAT?! How did they graduate?! Well, that issue is a whole other blog post.

Anyway, when I read the statistic of 32 million it was a hard fact for me to grasp. Thirty-
two million is a lot of people; too many people, especially in a country such as the United States. This is an issue that needs immediate attention. If we are able to reduce this number, just think of how it would benefit our society, economy and work force. The number of opportunities these people would have would quadruple if only they could read.

I do love the idea of helping those adults who can’t read, learn to read; however, my main concern are the young kids who are already heading down the road of illiteracy. We need to step in at the point of prevention to help create a better future for everyone.

The USNews article I referenced previously states that parents, teachers, students and community members from around the world are getting together today to discuss the issue of illiteracy. What I love most about this is that they are not going to be discussing new teaching methods, new technologies or millions of dollars that will be needed in order to tackle this problem; what they will be discussing is how simple and cheap it is to take on illiteracy. What is this simple and cheap literacy trick, you ask? Read aloud. That’s it. Reading aloud is all about vocabulary and language development; which strengthens writing, speech and reading.

According to the organization, Reading is Fundamental, reading aloud to children is vital because it helps them acquire the information and skills they need in life:

• Knowledge of printed letters and words, and the relationship between sound and print.
• The meaning of words.
• How books work, and a variety of writing styles.
• The world in which they live.
• The difference between written language and everyday conversation.
• The pleasure of reading.

Reading to young children promotes language acquisition and literacy development and, later on, achievement in reading comprehension and overall success in school. The percentage of young children read aloud to daily by a family member is one indicator of how well young children are prepared for school. Yet, recent studies on family reading suggest too many youngsters go without the benefit of a family member reading to them.

In conclusion, one of the best things you can do for the young children of today is simply read to them and have them read to you. It’s that easy to make a lifetime of difference.



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