A new report from Scholastic highlights that schools play a major role in getting kids to read for fun at home, especially in lower income families. The report, Kids & Family Reading Report™: 5th edition, examines reading attitudes and behavior of kids (ages 6-17) and their parents and looks at the factors that help make frequent readers and what children want in books. The key is not in the content or the media, though; ninety-one percent of children ages 6–17 say “my favorite books are the ones that I have picked out myself.”
- Half of all children ages 6–17 (51%) are currently reading a book for fun and another one in five (20%) just finished one.
- Both parents of children ages 6–17 (71%) and kids (54%) rank strong reading skills as the most important skill a child should have. Yet while 86% of parents say reading books for fun is extremely or very important, only 46% of kids say the same.
- Three-quarters of parents with children ages 6–17 (75%) agree “I wish my child would read more books for fun,” and 71% agree “I wish my child would do more things that did not involve screen time.”
- Three dynamics are among the most of powerful predictors of frequent reading: 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.
- One third of children ages 6–17 (33%) say their class has a designated time during the school day to read a book of choice independently, but only 17% do this every or almost every school day.
- Half of children ages 6–17 who read independently as a class or school (52%) say it’s one of their favorite parts of the day or wish it would happen more often.
- Nearly two-thirds of children (65%)—up from 2012 (60%)—agree that they’ll always want to read books in print even through there are ebooks available.
“Our research shows that providing encouragement and time both in school and at home for children of all ages to enjoy books they choose to read will help them discover the power and joy of reading,” said Francie Alexander, Chief Academic Officer at Scholastic. “These tactics will also help to motivate kids to read more books, which will improve their skills and open a world of possibilities for them in the future.”
Read the report on the Scholastic website.