The statistics are startling, and the Heart of America Foundation®
is determined to change them. The resources listed below these statistics are part
of the solution, and we encourage you to work with us and them to make a difference
in these children's lives.
- Access to printed materials has been found to be the "critical variable affecting reading acquisition." (2)
- Thirty-seven percent of all fourth grade children in the United States are reading at below basic levels. (functionally illiterate) (1)
- Inability to read is linked to poverty, dependence on welfare, unemployment, and crime. (3)
- The gap is widening between the reading skills of the highest and lowest performing students. The best students are reading better while the worst students are falling further behind. (7)
- Communities ranking high in reading achievement tests have: an abundance of books in public libraries, easy access to books in the community at large, and a large number of textbooks per student. (2)
- The home environment - specifically the availability of reading material - is a stronger predictor of later academic achievement than socioeconomic status. (3)
- On average, children in economically depressed communities have 0-2 age appropriate books in their homes. (2)
- Children in middle-income communities have an average of 54 books in their homes. (2)
- Children in high-income communities have an average of 199.1 age appropriate books in their homes. (2)
- Sixty-one percent of low-income families have no books at all in their homes for their children. (2)
- A child from a low-income family enters kindergarten with a listening vocabulary of 3,000 words, while a child of a middle-income family enters with a listening vocabulary of 20,000 words. (5)
- 12.9 million children in the United States live in poverty. (4)
- Fourth-graders who reported having 25 books or more at home had higher scores on the NAEP reading test than children who reported they didn't have that many books. (7)
- Thirty-seven percent of American children live in low-income families.
-No Child Left Behind
- There is almost a 90% probability that a child will remain a poor reader at the end of the fourth grade if the child is a poor reader at the end of first grade.
-Public Library Association
- Students who do more reading at home are better, more proficient readers and have higher math scores.
-National Education Association
- National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Fourth-Grade Reading, 2003.
- Jeff McQuillan, the Literacy Crisis, California State University, 1998.
- Bridges to literacy, David K. Dickenson, 1991.
- Children's Defense Fund.
- Hart & Risley, 1995.
- National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Fourth-Grade Reading, 2001.
- National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov.
We encourage you to engage your students in these resources
which further literacy and give students the tools they need to read, succeed
and make a difference. Together, we can change the statistics!
US Department of Education
WETA Reading Rockets
National Center for Family Literacy
Center for the Book
Chip & Cookie Read Aloud Foundation
Read Across America
Verizon Reads Literacy Campus
The Literacy Web at the University of Connecticut
National Institute for Literacy