Few parents with kids age 8 and younger are engaged in nightly reading, according to the new survey. The survey found only one in three parents read bedtime stories with their children every night and 50 percent of parents say their children spend more time with TV or video games than with books. The study also found:
• While 87 percent of parents say they currently read bedtime stories with their children, only one in three do so daily.
• Children of families with an annual household income below $35,000 are more likely to watch TV (40 percent) than read books (35 percent).
• Twice as many children prefer a printed book (20 percent) over an e-book (9 percent), say parents who read both types of books to their children.
Why Reading Is Important
According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, children who don’t read well by the end of third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school than proficient readers.
Yet the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress reveals that two-thirds of U.S. fourth graders—and more than four-fifths of those from low-income families—are not reading proficiently.
In RIF’s review of major literacy studies, researchers found a direct correlation between income level and the number of books in the household, creating even more obstacles to developing children’s literacy.
What’s Being Done
Fortunately, that’s where Reading Is Fundamental and Macy’s come in. As the nation’s largest children’s literacy nonprofit, RIF has placed 410 million books in the hands of more than 39 million children, mostly in underserved communities. And Macy’s has been a longtime supporter ofRIF, helping to raise more than $25 million for the organization in the last 10 years.
What You Can Do
Through a program called Be Book Smart, you can give $3 at any Macy’s register to help provide a book for a child. Macy’s will donate the full amount to RIF, and you’ll get a coupon for $10 off an in-store purchase of $50 or more. Visit your local store June 21?July 21, 2013, to participate.
You can also enter a sweepstakes on Facebook by sharing images of quotes from favorite authors with friends. Each week, one winner will be awarded a $500 Macy’s gift card. For official rules and to enter the sweepstakes, visit www.facebook.com/macys or www.rif.org/sweeps. No purchase is necessary to enter or win a prize.
To find out more about how you can help provide books to kids who need them most, visit www.RIF.org.