MILLIONS OF CHILDREN ARE ILLITERATE IN THE USA
“Read. Learn. Grow. Succeed.”
Mission: We seek to decrease the literacy rate by producing visually stimulating and entertaining reading material for young readers. We will encourage reading by engaging young readers with stories and books of interest to the children. This encouragement can further help these new readers assist other family members struggling with reading. Thereby the literacy of a family will improve.
Did you know that the sooner a child is introduced to reading the greater their chances are of being successful in life? Why? The answer goes back to something I heard in elementary school, "The more you read, the more you know. The more you know, the more you grow. The more you grow, the farther you go."
It sounds simple, right? According to Ferstreaders.org (Fifty Top Literacy Statistics), "Given the course of brain development, it is not surprising that young children who are exposed to certain early language and literacy experiences usually prove to be good readers later. Just as a child develops language skills long before being able to speak, the child also develops literacy skills long before being able to read. National Research Council. (1998). Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.
So, reading is fundamental. It's good for you in many ways. So, why are so many children unable to read or functionally illiterate? Is there a way to curb this statistic and decrease the numbers?
THE HARD TRUTH
While good early experiences help the brain develop well, poor experiences can literally cause a genetically normal child to have a lower I.Q. Scientific evidence shows that maltreated children who receive little stimulation – children who are exposed to fewer colors, less touch, little interaction with adults, fewer sights and sounds, and less language – actually have smaller brains. De Bellis, M.D., Keshaven, M.S., Clark,D.B., Caseey, B.J., Giedd, J.B., Boring,A.M., Frustaci, K., & Ryan, N.D. (1999).Developmental traumatology.Part 2: Brain development. BiologicalPsychiatry, 45, 1271-1284.
Experts are nearly unanimous in stating that babies should routinely experience shared books as soon as they experience shared talking, that is, during the first weeks and months of life. Butler, D. (1998). Babies need books. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
Early literacy encompasses all of a child’s experiences with the conversation, stories (oral and written), books, and print. Rebecca Parlakian, Before the ABCs: Promoting School Readiness in Infants and Toddlers. Washington, DC: Zero to Three, 2003.