Reading truly is fundamental

Earlier this month, some surprising results of a national study were released to the public.

According to the study funded by Reading Is Fundamental and Macy’s, only one in three parents read bedtime stories to their children every night. The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive, also found that 50 percent of parents say their children spend more time with TV or video games than with books.

More than 1,000 parents across the U.S. completed the survey online in April.

What makes these results so shocking is that the lifelong benefits of reading have been well publicized.

Research shows that children who don’t read well by the end of third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school than proficient readers, according to a report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. And, studies have also found that there is a direct correlation between the amount of reading done outside of school and gains in reading achievement.

As parents, we all want our children to grow up to be well-educated, intelligent adults. But we can’t put all of the responsibility for that happening on our public school systems. Parents, no matter what their income levels, need to participate, and should be engaged in their child’s development. The act of reading to and with a child is one simple way to do that. Not only does reading together benefit a child’s cognitive progress, but it also develops the important bond between parent and child.

Incredible, free resources can be found right here in Camas and Washougal at local public libraries. And it just so happens that both are currently offering some great summer reading programs, as detailed in an article on page B1 of today’s Post-Record.

Now is the perfect time to take advantage of these resources, and start making reading part of a fun, and educational, daily routine.