Friday, June 16, 2006

Scholastic Survey on Students and Reading

Scholastic has released a report on the reading habits of children and their families. No real surprises here: despite Laura Bush (or maybe inspired by the success of her husband), we are not a nation of readers. Only about 30% of kids ages 9-11 are high frequency readers; naturally, the children of parents who are themselves high frequency readers tend to read more. About half of all teenagers read with low frequency. Parents are the worst: only 21% of the parents surveyed said they were high frequency readers. And yet both children and adults aknowledge the importance of reading for college and job success.

The survey briefly addresses the role of technology in reading--about 40% of the students said they were reading using a computer, and those that read with computers tended to be overall high frequency readers.

The kids say that they would read more if there were good things to read (an odd thing to tell the publisher of Harry Potter), but one suspects there are other variables at play. At PS 329 in Coney Island today I asked first and third graders what they did on computers, and overwhelmingly the answer was "play games." The children in Scholastic's survey listed as their number two issue with reading that they "would rather do other things."

It would be nice if Scholastic would have found out what those other things were.

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