During National Literacy Month, take the time to encourage all of the people in your life, young and old, to go to the library, pick up a good book or challenge themselves to become literate.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, reading proficiency by third grade is one of the most important predictors of whether a student will graduate high school and succeed in a career, yet according to a study by the U.S. Department of Education, 32 million adults in the U.S. still can’t read.
In addition to resources for young readers, there are language acquisitions, adult learning and job training programs for immigrants and workers in need. These resources help elevate literacy and work skills for adults, which provides them access to higher income and opportunities.
What can you do to get involved?
- Parents and caretakers can help by encouraging reading at all ages, instilling a love of reading and writing practices as a part of daily life. You can also tell stories, talk to children about their favorite books, and help them go to the library or bookstore to get new books.
- For younger children, sit down together and read a book out loud. If you don’t have kids of your own, volunteer at a local library or school. A new American Academy of Pediatrics study encourages pediatricians to “advise parents of young children that reading aloud and talking about pictures and words in age-appropriate books can strengthen language skills, literacy development, and parent-child relationships.”
- Donate books to community book drives, libraries and organizations such as Housing Works. One study found that in middle-income neighborhoods there are 13 books per child, while in low-income neighborhoods, there is one book for every 300 children. Researchers with the Economic Policy Institute have found that when low-income parents read to their children from an early age, have books in the home, and visit the library, their children have higher literacy skills.
- Visit the literary resources below for exercises and printables for learning to read and write.
Literacy Resources for Children and Adults:
- Literacy Resources | Start with a Book
- Early Literacy Resources – AAP.org
- Free Literacy Resources for Parents and Professionals
- Free Resources – Keys to Literacy
- Adult Literacy Resources | Study.com