Join the movement on Friday, August 5, 2016 – as people across the country participate in the annual #ReadWhereYouAre day of action.
#ReadWhereYouAre is the U.S. Department of Education's annual call to action which encourages more reading time out of school, especially over the summer months, as a part of the My Brother's Keeper Initiative. Participating is easy – simply share a photo online of yourself reading, wherever you love to read, and use the hashtag #ReadWhereYouAre. Encourage your friends and family to do the same!
Young people who do not read over the summer break fall behind their classmates. Research shows that summer learning loss adds up, especially for low-income students. In fact, by 8th grade, that lost learning time accounts for 2/3 of the achievement gap between low-income children and their more affluent peers.
Reading over the summer makes a difference during the school year. When students keeping reading, they keep learning, stay sharp, and are more prepared when the new school year begins.
This summer make the commitment to help all young people, from the earliest readers, to high school students, to strive to read more – wherever they are. Reading can happen at home, on the bus, on the beach, at the barbershop, and at the library!
All children should be reading at grade level by age 8—the age at which reading to learn, and not just learning to read, becomes essential. Reading well at an early age is essential to later success in education, employment and life. When provided frequent, quality reading experiences in the home and high-quality in-school reading instruction, nearly every child can learn to read by the third grade.
Yet significant disparities in reading proficiency exist between students of color and their peers. Recent National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) data shows that while more than half of fourth-grade students in most racial and ethnic subgroups scored below proficiency in 2013—signaling a need for strong reforms in literacy instruction for all students—there is a particular need for attention to reading levels among Black, Hispanic, and American Indian and Alaska Native students. In 2013, 83% of Black students, 81% of Hispanic students, and 78% percent of American Indian and Alaska Native students scored below proficiency, compared to 66% of White students.
A child's literacy skills prior to kindergarten, as well as his or her reading skills at the conclusion of kindergarten, are highly predictive of future reading proficiency. During these critical years, reading with an adult is an especially important way to familiarize children with books and promote early awareness of written language and interest in reading. However, children growing up in low-income families are less likely to have books in the home and to read to than their peers. As of 2007, 56 percent of young children were read to everyday; however, a lower percentage of children residing in poor households (40 percent) were read to every day compared with children residing in higher income households (60 percent).
Both school and community engagement are needed to support parents and other adult caregivers in strengthening home literacy and to provide students with broader opportunities to read with adults. Preschools and elementary schools can support all families by training parents and caregivers to use effective tutoring and joint book reading strategies, such as listening to children read.