November is Family Literacy Month

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." — Emilie Buchwald

Do you remember sitting with your parents when you were very young, listening to them read to you? Did you read back to them? You didn’t realize it at the time, but this interaction was family literacy, the practice of involving children and parents in developing reading skills and positive attitudes toward education.

Family literacy is a learning method that involves children and parents learning together. The parent becomes the advocate for the child’s education as he/she becomes more involved in the learning process.

A report done by Kent State University, “Family Literacy Programs: Who Benefits?” found that four groups benefit from family literacy programs: children, parents, families, and society. Among the many benefits of family literacy, children will improve their school achievements and reading skills, parents and families learn to value education, and society sees positive changes in low school achievement and high school dropout rates.

According to the U.S. Census table “A Child’s Day 2009: Selected Indicators of Child Well-Being,”
the South Region had the lowest number of average times read to a child per week: 7.5% (age 1 and 2 years) and 6.2% (age 3 to 5 years). The Northeast had the most, at 8.5% and 7.1%. Where a family lives is also significant. Nonmetropolitan areas had 8.1% for ages 1 and 2 and 6.5% for ages 3 to 5 years.

In the area of “Occupation,” Managerial/Professional had the most, with 9.1% and 7.0%, respectively. “Other” was 7.0% and 6.6%

More of these statistics may be accessed at –Topics-Families-Living Arrangements-Children

Related websites:
National Center for Families Learning
International Reading Association
The Literacy Council of Central Alabama

Michelle Andrews.
Government Documents
Central Library