Some facts for you to digest:
- The US ranks 25th in the world in the enrollment of 4-year-olds in early learning (OCED, Education at a Glance, 2013)
- 62% of children, in Georgia, living below the federal poverty line do not attend preschool (Annie E. Casey, KidsCount)
- Only 16% of children, in Georgia, age 1-5 are read to more than 3 days a week (Annie E. Casey, KidsCount)
- The average middle-income home has 54 age-appropriate books for children, while a low-income home has 0-2 books (McQuillan, Jeff, The Literacy Crisis)
- Children with early reading deficiencies are far less likely to graduate from high school, become effective citizens and develop skills essential for contributing to the 21st century economy (Early Reading Advisory Committee, 2010)
Why is it important:
Language is one of the first developmental skills we acquire as a child. This can be delayed if the child is not being read to consistently. According to research by Hart & Risley, children from low-income families hear 600 words an hour, while children from middle-income families hear 2,100. That adds up to an average of 13 million and 48 million, respectively, by the time these children are 4.
What we can do about it:
Read to our children, nieces, nephews, friends! It’s a great way to calm your child down before bed time, during snuggle time or as you wake up. Our children at our child development centers love when volunteers come to read to them. It’s just 30 minutes of your day, and what a difference you make to that child’s education. How many words can you contribute to the 48 million?!