Scholastic 2015 Report on Kids and Summer Reading

As teachers, librarians, and caregivers we are in a position to foster a love of reading in our children.  How can we get a child to the point where he picks up a book to read for fun?  Scholastic and YouGov conducted a study, publishing their results in the Kids and Family Reading Report 5th Edition, to examine that very question.

To create a “frequent reader” in children 6-17 the study points to several predicting factors (a frequent reader is defined as a child who reads books for pleasure five to seven days a week). The article elaborates: “Three dynamics among the most powerful predictors are:

  • being more likely to rate themselves as “really enjoying reading”
  • a strong belief that reading for fun is important and
  • having parents who are frequent readers. (Page 23)”

Other noteworthy factors included: early experience reading aloud with a parent, having a variety of books around the home accessible to the child, and limiting device/ screen time.

It’s never too early to start reading to your child, as soon as the baby is born, read to him or her; they process more than you may realize!  

Eight in ten children said they love(ed) being read to as a child. Storytime is an enjoyable bonding and learning experience that can stimulate and reinforce the invaluable habit of enjoying a good book.

Once the child is older, have him choose the book he wants to read.  Children, like adults, like a sense of control. Bring them to the library and have them browse the shelves for books that they find appealing.

So what do children look for in a book?  The study has some interesting insights:

Ninety-one percent of children ages 6–17 say “my favorite books are the ones that I have picked out myself.” (Page 56)

The majority of kids ages 6–17 (70%) say they want books that “make me laugh.”

Kids also want books that “let me use my imagination” (54%)

“tell a made-up story” (48%)

“have characters I wish I could be like because they’re smart, strong or brave” (43%)

“teach me something new” (43%)

and “have a mystery or a problem to solve” (41%).”

As mentioned earlier, it is important to limit screen time.  There are many distractions available to children including smartphones, tablets, and other devices which can compete with books.  If you set limits early on, the child will learn to view books as a source of entertainment.  Create a household reading habit and your children will likely follow suit.

Fill your house with books and read.

Learn more:


Kids Lose Reading Skills In Summertime

Kids Losing Reading Skills in Summertime

According to a thought-provoking study about summer reading called, ‘Read for Success’ by RIF (Reading is Fundamental):

“During the summer, low-income students lose more than two months of reading achievement”

The Reading for Success’ research study sought to address the socioeconomic disparity and its relationship with reading levels in economically disadvantaged children compared to their peers who have access to more resources. Children in poorer communities were behind in their reading skills.

Once a child reaches third grade, playing catch up with their peers becomes more difficult resulting in the child becoming more frustrated and therefore more likely to drop out of school. RIF study’s goal was to understand the issue and seek a way to bridge the reading level gap, allowing all children to succeed.

80% of low income students lose reading skills over the course of the summer. This does not have to be the case. Summer can be a make or break time for children in economically disadvantaged household; they can either fall further behind or use the few months to catch up and even excel in reading proficiency.

RIF’s new model seeks to decrease the summer reading loss in low income communities. Research shows three key factors vital to reading achievement:

  • Access to a lot of good, high quality books
  • Book ownership
  • Child’s choice in book selection

This program cut summer reading loss in half (from 80% to only 40%) in these children. The statistically significant findings showed stunning gains in the study participants who applied themselves over the summer. The Read for Success Mode contains six components that are vital in combating reading loss, one of which is to provide schools, libraries, and centers with high quality STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) enrichment activities. See page eight for more info on six components.

Check out RIF’s ‘Read for Success’ research study on the importance of summer learning.