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New Report: Majority of Indiana Children are Read To
posted by: Ruthie | November 05, 2013, 05:18 PM   

According to a recent report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation,  85% of Indiana children younger than age 6 have relatives reading to them at least three times a week. The findings have started a dialogue among parents and educators who claim that increased parent involvement could help students make gains in early academic years.  

Based on the findings, years of brain and child development research show children who enter kindergarten with below-average language and cognitive skills can catch up, but only if they are physically healthy and have strong social and emotional skills. Having a relative read to a child is usually indicative of a nurturing home environment, and adequate attention to the child.

“All children need nurturing and plentiful opportunities to develop during their crucial first eight years,” said  Patrick McCarthy, president and CEO of the Foundation. “Today's complicated world can strain families' ability to ensure their children are receiving all the stimulation and care they need to develop to their full potential.”

Local Monroe County Library manager, Josh Wolf, praised the findings, saying, "Parents are their kids' first teacher. If they read to their children just 20 minutes a day, the results are phenomenal," he said. "It helps kids develop a love for reading, and that is a huge building block for their future success in school.

However, this good news does not come without controversy. The Herald-Times reports that some educators are skeptical of the findings. Local Principal Mark Conrad thought the findings were on the high side citing that many homes have two working parents and hectic schedules, making reading daily a difficult task. "But if it's accurate I think it's wonderful," he said. "When we welcome our new kindergarten students it's obvious which ones have been read to at home and which ones have not."

Do you think these statistics are valid? Do you think being read to early on gives incoming students an edge?
Comment below.

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