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Literacy Resources

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.


Statistics

  • 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

Sources:

  1. National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Fourth-Grade Reading, 2003.
  2. Jeff McQuillan, the Literacy Crisis, California State University, 1998.
  3. Bridges to literacy, David K. Dickenson, 1991.
  4. Children's Defense Fund.
  5. Hart & Risley, 1995.
  6. National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Fourth-Grade Reading, 2001.
  7. National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov.

Literacy Resources


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
www.ed.gov


WETA Reading Rockets
www.readingrockets.org


National Center for Family Literacy
www.famlit.org


Center for the Book
www.loc.gov/loc/cfbook/


Chip & Cookie Read Aloud Foundation
www.chipandcookiefoundation.org


Read Across America
www.nea.org/readacross/index.html


Verizon Reads Literacy Campus
www.literacycampus.org


The Literacy Web at the University of Connecticut
www.literacy.uconn.edu


National Institute for Literacy
www.nifl.gov

 

 
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