5 Important Literacy Facts You Don’t Know - Little Egg Publishing

5 Important Literacy Facts You Don’t Know

Learning how to read is a pretty basic skill in the 21st century.  But that doesn’t mean literacy is something we should take for granted.  In fact, many children grow up even in first world countries like America without more than the most basic reading and writing skills.  Just how important is literacy in a child’s life?  Here are some astonishing literacy facts which shed some light on the power of reading.

1. Literacy in the United States is hardly the highest in the world.

According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the PIAAC literacy scale results for adults in the USA are just ahead of those of adults in Denmark and Germany.  But quite a few other countries surpass the USA.  In fact, a few are significantly ahead, including Flanders in Belgium, Estonia, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Finland, and Japan.

2. In many other countries around the world, lack of literacy is a huge problem.

UNICEF reported in 1999 that “Nearly a billion people will enter the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names and two thirds of them are women … The total includes more than 130 million school age children.”

If your child has access to a full education, that is a huge deal.  A billion people is a lot.  It is easy to forget during our day-to-day lives that in many ways, our privileges were just luck of the draw, where we were born.

3. Reading helps keep young people out of jail.

There is a well-established link between illiteracy and crime.  The Financial Times reports the U.S. Department of Justice as stating that “the link between academic failure and delinquency, violence and crime is correlated to reading failure.”

Perhaps this shouldn’t be a surprise.  Reading skills open financial doors for young adults, making them less likely to resort to crime, to achieve financial success.  The right reading choices will develop social awareness from a young age.

Reportedly, around 85% of juvenile delinquents have difficulties reading, and 70% of adults in prison suffer from the same problem.  Apparently those who receive assistance with literacy during or after their incarceration are significantly less likely to return to do more time after being released.

4. Children who do not learn to read well in their younger years are less likely to graduate.

You may not think that your child’s progress or lack of progress in early elementary school would have a major bearing on his/her later performance, but it does.  According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, students who are poor readers in the third grade have a higher likelihood of becoming high school dropouts.  The sooner your child learns to read well, the more likely it is he or she will graduate high school, and hopefully college.

5. Children who grow up with literacy problems have a harder time finding gainful employment.

Those who complete only minimal schooling are usually unemployed at a rate which is 2-4 times in excess of those who earn college degrees.  They also tend to earn less when they do find jobs.  Since illiteracy is tied directly to dropout rates, it follows that growing up  illiterate translates to a higher chance of poverty in adulthood.

These are all very important statistics to keep in mind.   Reading is developmental, so please keep in mind that children learn to read at different rates.  Do not be alarmed if your 5 year old is not reading yet.  If your 8 year old is still struggling, it is time to intervene.

So work with your child to make sure that he or she enjoys reading. We know that practicing something you like,and enjoy almost always leads to success. There are so many ideas for getting children reading.  Once you do get a child hooked on reading, it will change the rest of his or her life for the better! 

Our Books are Proudly Printed and Assembled in the U.S.