December 4, 2019
New study shows importance of children owning books
by Andréa Córdova
A study conducted by The National Literacy Trust displays the disparities of children who own books and those who do not, to some unsurprising and surprising finds. The findings are quite depressing so brace yourselves.
Filed under “pretends to be shocked” news, the study claims that book-wielding children are six times more likely to read above their grade level. That’s wonderful! However, while this is obviously good news, the study begins to show its dark side—over 380,000 children in the UK do not have books, which in the long run can affect their literacy levels, wellbeing, and overall happiness. Let that sink in … hundreds of thousands of students don’t have a book to call their own. File this under “very sad, what can we do about it?” news.
According to Eleanor Busby reporting for the Independent, the survey conducted consisted of over 56,000 children from all over the UK ranging from ages 9 to 18. It goes on to find that students who do not have books read only 3.2% above their grade level, whereas children who do possess books can read 22% above the expected level. 56.2% of the book possessing group enjoy reading. On the other side, those who don’t have books finds that only 18.4% of this group view reading as enjoyable.
What is attributing to children not having access to books? One of the culprits is the fact that hundreds of libraries across the UK have closed due to budget cuts.
So what can be done from now on? We can start by supporting our local libraries, donating books to drives, churches, schools and more, and lastly maybe even lend some of your old books to the young ones in your life. While the study is depressing, there are things we can all do to make sure every kid has a book in their hand.
Andréa Córdova is a publicist at Melville House.