Children who read tend to do better at school and professionally. However, according to the 2007 National Endowment for the Arts study, "To Read or Not to Read," reading skills among American children have reached disturbingly low levels, which has "civic, social, and economic implications." The rise in technology means increased demands for higher literacy and consequences are grievous for those who fall short, according to "Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children."
The growth of digital media as a source of information has reduced the ability of children to critically evaluate the information they are exposed to, says Professor Patricia Greenfield, director of the Children's Digital Media Center at UCLA. Critical thinking skills are crucial in helping students achieve more than a cursory understanding of any topic and helps them form their own opinions. Reading requires a person to think and process information in a way that watching television may not. The more you read, the deeper your understanding becomes of what you are reading and its application. Greenfield tells parents to encourage their children to read and should read to their children. Developing writing skills can help you strengthen your ability to make reasoned arguments on a variety of subjects, which is useful in school and on the job.
Improved Communication Skills
Improving your reading and writing skills also goes hand in hand with developing your communication skills. The more you read and write, the more you broaden your vocabulary and are able to articulate concepts accurately and more effectively to others. Increasing your ability to communicate also helps make you a better worker or student.
Studies show that people with advanced reading and writing skills have more opportunities in school and professionally than those who do not develop these skills. According to the 2007 NEA study, nearly two-thirds of employers ranked reading skills as "very important" for high school graduates, and more than a third found that their applicants were deficient in their reading ability. Children who are avid readers will often find school more appealing. People who graduate from college will find more work and career opportunities than those who graduated only high school or dropped out. Literary readers are more likely "to engage in positive civic and individual activities--such as volunteering, attending sports or cultural events, and exercising" than non-readers, according to the NEA study.
- Improve Reading Skills: The Importance Of Reading Skills For School Success
- NEA: National Endowment for the Arts Announces New Reading Study
- UCLA: Is Technology Producing a Decline in Critical Thinking and Analysis?
- "Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children"; Catherine E. Snow, M. Susan Burns, and Peg Griffin; 1998
- reading image by Alison Bowden from Fotolia.com