Family reading.Growing up, my parents read a story to me every night. I always assumed it was the standard in every child’s bedtime routine across the country. As a teacher with my degree in Early Childhood Education, I know the importance of reading to children. The benefits associated with a simple daily bedtime story seem endless. Imagine my amazement when I read the statistic stating that only 39% of parents read to their children on a daily basis (Young, Davis, and Schoen, 1996).

In a word, I was flabbergasted. I’ve witnessed the struggling readers and the impact that has on their daily lives. When a child has difficulties reading, everything in school suffers as a result. Would something as simple as a daily ten minute bedtime story interaction between a parent and child prevent these kids from struggling throughout their school years? Could it really be that simple? I want parents to know how vital it is to read to their children everyday.

Benefits

Teaches Basic Reading and Writing Skills

When children are being read to, they are taking in so much at once. Simple things experienced readers may take for granted are introduced during the first few years of life while listening to a story. Children who are Child doing schoolwork.familiar with books know how to hold a book and turn the pages from left to right. They know that the book has a title.

Pre-readers also understand that the book contains pictures and words and they start distinguishing words and letters. They begin to recognize that the printed text is read from right to left and top to bottom, which is directly related to beginning writing skills. School districts expect children to be reading simple word texts by the end of kindergarten, and having these basic skills can propel them toward success.

Teaches Basic Listening Skills

It’s true, as I experience it in the classroom everyday. Some children don’t have the ability to sit still long enough to listen to a story. It can be possible that some children may have trouble because of a disability, but others may simply lack the insight to what story time is all about. Making story time at home a daily, fun and engaging activity can encourage children to get excited about story time at school which can also discourage behavior issues.

Promotes Vocabulary and Language Skills

AlphabetJust think of all the new words children hear from books. Our daily conversations do not require much use of complex language or vocabulary and can hinder the development of a child’s oral language. Reading to a child can introduce so many new words, especially nonfiction titles. Children’s literature provides great models of language for children. In hearing the flow of the writing and the innovative words, especially in repeated readings of the same text, can nurture children’s language development.

Builds Knowledge of the World

As in language development, reading exposes children to worlds of new information. As a teacher, I used books to teach children about a topic, such as a place, or a person, or a topic. The amount of information a child can learn from books is never-ending, which leads into the next benefit.

Fosters a Love of Reading

Child happily reading a bookEnabling children to enjoy reading is one of the most important gifts a parent can do. Kids will learn reading skills in school, but they will come to associate reading with work, not pleasure. As a result, they may lose their desire to read, effecting their schoolwork and desire to learn. When a parent shares an exciting story with a child, and in turn, gets excited with the child, the parent is showing how much fun reading can be. Jim Trelease, author of The Read-Aloud Handbook, encourages parents to lead by example by stating; “Make sure your children see you reading for pleasure other than at read-aloud time. Share with them your enthusiasm for whatever you are reading”.

Encourages Parent-Child Bonding

Reading aloud also creates a special time for parents to bond with their children. Cuddling together for a bedtime story, you’ll be helping your children develop a lifelong appreciation for reading. (Reading Aloud, n.d.) Builds Self-Esteem Children often want to hear the same story over and over. Just as adults may need to hear something more than once to remember or understand, children are the same way.

Trelease (2001) makes a very interesting point, “Those of us who have seen a movie more than once fully realize how many subtleties escaped us the first time. Even more so with children and books”. He also points out that repeated readings can turn a child into an expert on a particular book. The child feels good about himself and connects that good feeling with reading (Trelease, (2001).

The greatest gift we can give our children is the gift of OURSELVES — our time, our talents, our prayers, our thoughts of kindness, and our acts of love and compassion- start reading to your child tonight! 

Submitted by Melinda Franklin
Written by Constance Anderson
Teacher
University of South Florida Grad Student
Mom
co-owner of http://www.tinytotboutique.comArticle Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Melinda_Franklin
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Illiteracy in America

July 13, 2008

Illiteracy: The Downfall of American Society

It is a chronic crisis of huge proportions, one that keeps millions of Americans living in the shadows. Illiteracy is causing irreparable damage to our society. Just look at these disturbing illiteracy statistics.

Illiteracy Statistics

In a study of 20 ‘high income’ countries, the US ranked 12th on literacy tests. Illiteracy has become such a serious problem in our country that 44 million adults are now unable to read a simple story to their child. A few other shocking facts:

  • 7 million Americans are illiterate.
  • 50 percent of adults cannot read a book written at an eighth grade level.
  • 20 percent of Americans are functionally illiterate and read below a 5th grade level.
  • 30 million Americans cannot read a simple sentence.

How Illiteracy Affects Job Prospects

  • 3 out of 4 people on welfare cannot read.
  • 75 percent of today’s jobs require at least a ninth-grade reading level.
  • 27 million are unable to read well enough to complete a job application.
  • 20 percent of Americans read below the level needed to earn a living wage.
  • 50 percent of the unemployed people who fall between the ages of 16 and 21 cannot read well enough to be considered functionally literate.
  • Between 46 and 51 percent of American adults have an income well below the individual threshold poverty level because of their inability to read.
  • Of the Gross National Product, only 5.3 percent is spent on public education. 

How Illiteracy Affects Society

  • 3 out of 5 people in an American prison cannot read.
  • Low literacy is strongly related to crime. 70 percent of prisoners fall into the lowest two levels of reading proficiency.
  • 85 percent of juvenile offenders have problems reading.
  • Approximately 50 percent of Americans read so poorly that they are unable to perform simple tasks such as balancing a checkbook and reading prescription drug labels.
  • 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.

How Illiteracy Costs Taxpayers

  • Illiteracy costs American taxpayers an estimated $20 billion each year.
  • Illiteracy has been proven to cause children to drop out of school. Dropouts cost our nation $240 billion in social service expenditures and lost tax revenues.

The Fight Against Illiteracy

The fight against illiteracy is a constant battle. Activists are working to strengthen education amongst young people and amongst adults. If you want to join the fight, there are numerous literacy organizations that accept volunteers and donations.

You can also help to prevent illiteracy by encouraging a young person in your life to read. The importance of reading to children cannot be over emphasized. In fact, reading children’s stories aloud is one of the most important activities we, as parents, grandparents, teachers, and care-givers, can do for our kids.

Trivani is supporting literacy efforts here in the United States. If you would like to make a difference in America by helping to end the cycle of family illiteracy, please consider changing your personal care products, and shop Trivani online today! Your decision to make one change is that simple, and it is that powerful!

 

In short, do your part. The fight against illiteracy is important. If we continue to ignore what is becoming a growing epidemic, we set our entire country up for failure.

Statistics for this article were obtained from the following sources: National Institute for Literacy, National Center for Adult Literacy, The Literacy Company, U.S. Census Bureau.

Story TimeTrivani Foundation is happy to announce our first domestic humanitarian partnership. After doing extensive research, Trivani has decided to support literacy efforts here in the United States. Illiteracy in our country is a problem of giant proportions; 4 million Americans are functionally illiterate-this figure includes one quarter of the adult population. This means that one in four adults cannot locate an intersection on a street map, fill out an employment application, or read a phone book.

Additionally, statistics show that two-thirds of all children who do not read by the fourth grade will be in jail or on welfare when they are adults. 85% of all juveniles who interface with the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate; more than 60% of all prison inmates are functionally illiterate; penal institution records show that inmates have a 16% chance of returning to prison if they receive literacy help, as opposed to 70% who do not receive help. Literacy can be a life-changing experience.

Illiteracy is passed along by parents who cannot read and write-this is a family cycle that needs to be Read, Write, Learn! (JPG+EPS)broken. To improve our lives and reduce many of society’s problems we need to teach children and adults how to read. Trivani has chosen to partner with Family Literacy Centers (FLC), Inc., a 501c(3) non-profit charity, to address this problem. FLC is establishing volunteer facilities in stores, libraries, senior centers, school, homeless shelters, churches, prisons, and community centers. Adults and children come to these free centers to be tutored by certified trained volunteers for two one-hour sessions a week-this is supported by children reading nightly with parents for at least twenty minutes. State evaluations show a half-grade level improvement every month.

By creating alliances with material suppliers, Family Literacy Centers has developed extensive training programs for students, parents, volunteer tutors, and center directors. FLC’s goal is to help local communities find funding and create independent centers. It takes just $1.17 per day to help a child learn to read; compare this to the thousands of dollars it takes to house inmates and juvenile offenders. FLC has already teamed with organizations across the country in cities such as Philadelphia, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Orlando, Dallas, Baton Rouge, and various Native American Reservations.

Trivani Foundation

Trivani Foundation Newsletter- Mexico!

Inside this issue:

  • Mesa De San Isidro: A New Partnership 
  • Juan Alducin- Trivani’s Liason in Mexico
  • Village Life in Rural Mexico
  • Country Context- Mexico!

 Read the June 2008, Trivani Foundation Newsletter