Give older children story time to halt fall in young readers, urge experts

From The Guardian:

Experts have called on the government to make story time an intrinsic part of the school day for children right up to their teens, after two major new pieces of research revealed a decline in both the number of children being read to daily and the number reading for pleasure by themselves.

The findings of Nielsen Book Research’s annual survey into the reading habits of British children, to be revealed on Tuesday at an industry conference, show that only 32% of British children under 13 are read to daily by an adult, for pleasure, down four percentage points on the previous year, and nine percentage points down on 2012.

Most parents stop reading to their child by the age of eight, with just 19% of eight to 10-year-olds read to daily by an adult, across all socio-economic groups, down 3% on last year. Boys were less likely to be read to daily than girls at 14%, compared with 24%.

A second major survey of 27,000 children and young people, carried out by the National Literacy Trust ahead of World Book Day on Thursday, found that the number of eight to 18-year-olds reading for pleasure has now dropped to 52.5%, from 58.8% in 2016, with only a quarter (25.7%) reading daily, compared with 43% in 2015. The majority of boys and over half of girls in every age group said they preferred screentime to reading.

Publisher Egmont, which co-funded the Nielsen research, said that the steep decline in parents reading to them “signals a significant threat to children’s wellbeing, with potential longer-term social impact”. It highlighted a strong correlation between older children being read to, and children choosing to read independently for pleasure; 74% of eight to 13-year-olds who were read to each day also read independently, compared with just 29% of those who were read to less than once a week.

Link to the rest at The Guardian

1 thought on “Give older children story time to halt fall in young readers, urge experts”

  1. I don’t recall my parents ever reading to me, though I think they did — I was reading for myself very young.

    But I was impressed by my grandmotherly 5th grade math teacher who read A Wrinkle in Time to us during class hours — not to much that she would do so, but that she had the nerve to do it when I knew how many of my classmates were unlikely to even pass the math class. Still, they must have enjoyed it (as I did) since they didn’t disrupt the readings the way they did the ordinary classes.

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