Reading permeates every educational content area. The sequencing, decoding and comprehension skills necessary to read provide a foundation for learning. Early literacy development is particularly important to the growing learner. Skills such as alphabetic awareness and print knowledge in children under age 5 closely connect to later learning, according to the International Reading Association.
The Ability to Succeed in School
Every class and school subject requires reading. Reading development is a key ingredient to any student's success, according to the article "The Importance of Reading" on the PBS Parents website. Classes such as language, literature and English are obvious areas that require reading. Other subjects that aren't necessarily literacy-based also require reading for the student to master the content. The Common Core Content Standards set reading goals for subjects such as history, social studies, science and technology. For example, the sixth- through eighth-grade standards for science and technical subjects include key ideas such as citing technical texts to support scientific analysis, following written multistep procedures, decoding symbols and comprehending scientific texts.
The Likelihood of Graduation
The ability to read has a positive influence on high school graduation rates, according to professor of sociology Donald J. Hernandez in his article "Double Jeopardy: How Third-Grader Reading Skills and Poverty Influence High School Graduation." Children who don't read by third grade have a four times higher rate of not graduating from high school on time, notes Hernandez. Although not every child who reads late will drop out, one out of every six who don't read proficiently by third grade won't graduate by age 19.
Doing Well in College
Proficient reading skills don't just boost success at the elementary or secondary levels. Being able to read is an essential attribute that the college student needs, according to the article "The Importance of Teaching Academic Reading Skills in First-Year University Courses" in the International Journal of Research and Review. Building literacy abilities throughout the K-12 curriculum can help students to succeed when they get to college. Without basic reading skills, students lack the know-how to navigate postsecondary coursework.
Getting and Keeping a Job
Reading goes well beyond the high school and college years. Knowing how to read is a must for entering the workforce, according to the article "Essential Skills to Getting a Job" on the Office of Disability Employment Policy website. Reading isn't just a must for word-heavy jobs such as journalism. For example, if you work as a server in a local restaurant, part of your job is to read the specials to your customers every day. Without reading skills, you can't do your job.
- PBS Parents: The Importance of Reading
- International Reading Association: Literacy Development in the Preschool Years
- Common Core State Standards Initiative: Science and technical Subjects: Grades 6-8
- ERIC: Double Jeopardy: How Third-Grader Reading Skills and Poverty Influence High School Graduation
- The International Journal of Research and Review: The Importance of Teaching Academic Reading Skills in First-Year University Courses
- Office of Disability Employment Policy: Essential Skills to Getting a Job
- Christopher Robbins/Digital Vision/Getty Images