With the emergence of accessible technology to almost everyone, reading is as important of an issue as any. With so many technological distractions lie social media, messaging, and virtual games, it’s no surprise that traditional reading is slowly fading away. According to a survey by the Bureau of Labor statistics, in 2004 about 28 percent of Americans aged 15 and older read for pleasure on a given day. This past year that number dropped down to 19 percent.
On March 1, members of the Foran Lion football team and cheer team took a trip to Mathewson Elementary School to read to the youth of Milford Public Schools. Here the Lions went classroom to classroom spending quality time with younger kids setting good examples and establishing healthy reading habits. According to the U.S Agency for International Development, children without basic literacy skills when they enter school, are three to four times more likely to drop out later. Student and Cheerleader, Amanda Queiroz, expressed the significance of what this meant to the younger students, “By reading to younger kids, we were able to interact with them and help them grow their social learning because it created a space for the kids to generate conversations with older students and feel more comfortable.” Solid reading habits for kids these age become evident in standardized tests.
In a University of Illinois study by Anderson, Feilding, and Wilson found that the number of minutes elementary students spent reading outside of class, the better they scored on reading achievement tests. It was found that students who scored at the 90th percentile on a reading test spent five times as many minutes as children at the 50th percentile, and more than 200 times as many minutes per day reading books as the child at the 10th percentile. The researchers concluded that “among all the ways children spent their time, reading books was the best predictor of measures of reading achievement reading comprehension, vocabulary, and reading speed, including gains in reading comprehension between second and fifth grade”