Friday, February 20, 2015

Families Armed With Books Repel The Effects Of Poverty :: Federalist

A New Majority
Families Armed With Books Repel The Effects Of Poverty
Families that read together build strong bonds and ward off poverty. Here’s what you can do to encourage love for books in your community.
Federalist: 2.20.2015 by Allison Kieselowsky

Let kids have it with both barrels. Blast them with an activity that answers many daily challenges of childhood: quality time with books. Parent-survival kits should include an arsenal of literacy activities as regular parts of household life. Ants in pants? Go on a book adventure. Bored? Enjoy a read-aloud. Bad attitude? Laugh through a silly story.

This call to arms—the recommendation to bring books into family life—is not just a fun idea for snuggle time. A whole generation’s academic future depends upon it. Long-standing statistics about low-income communities within the city of Philadelphia show that there may exist only a few dozen books in a community of 10,000 children.

These numbers are not unique to a single city or neighborhood—they are repeated across the country. Books are simply not finding their way into homes. This problem will only deepen the strain on the public education system, since a majority of students in public schools are currently from low-income families.

Watching Families Interact in Libraries

Susan Neuman, the researcher who unearthed the paltry books-to-child ratio in certain communities, has observed family behaviors and interactions in public libraries in two different Philadelphia neighborhoods—one affluent and one impoverished—over the course of years. The main difference she observed? How much the adults, whether parent, grandparent, or nanny, interact with the children during the visit, and how they use the library itself.  READ MORE !

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