The Reading Corner

There is little argument that reading is essential for success in all educational endeavors. As summer is approaching, it is important to think about how students can make the most of their time. We wanted to learn more about why older students stop reading for fun and provide some inspiration to change the trend!

There have been many studies conducted regarding youth desire to read and the effects of achievement. Common Sense Media conducted a study that clearly summarized a few areas of concern: as students get older, they read for fun less often; there is a gap between reading achievement for African American, Hispanic, and White students; there are some ways for parents to help their children not become part of a negative statistic.

There are a variety of reasons why middle school and high school students may read less often compared to when they were younger. School requires more reading and therefore there is less time to read for leisure. Also, with the growth of technology, it is easy to be less enthusiastic about putting down the phone and picking up a book. In 2014, Common Sense Media found that 9% of 13-year-olds and 27% of 17-year-olds read “never” or “hardly ever.” Cite
However these statistics become concerning when they begin to affect school performance. Differences in achievement between African American, Hispanic, and White students is similarly alarming as “government test scores indicate that white students continue to score 21 or more points higher on average than black or Hispanic students” (National Center for Education Statistics, 2011). Cite

Because many Gateway students fall into either this age and/or race, we thought it was important to bring some awareness to these statistics. As parents, there are a few things that can be done to motivate your children to read more.

Spend time reading with your child
For younger students, it is crucial to read to them often. Older students and parents could select a book to read together and spend time discussing it. 57% of children whose parents read to them daily are “frequent readers,” while only 16% of children without daily reading can say the same about their reading habits. Cite

Lead by example
Another powerful way parents can demonstrate the importance of reading is doing so themselves.

Lastly, just having books, newspapers, or magazines around the house can influence young readers.
Reflecting on these statistics should only motivate us to read more often. Check out NPR’s list of the 100 Best-Ever Teen Novels for something to read this summer. We would love to hear from you--no matter your age or reading level. Please fill out this survey to help us learn more about the state of reading at Gateway!