The Scholastic UK Kids & Family Reading Report™ reveals the importance of reading aloud at home, independent reading at school and many other significant factors to encourage children's reading habits
LONDON, Sept. 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Scholastic, the global children's publishing, education and media company, today released results from the first-ever UK edition of The Kids & Family Reading Report™, a national survey of children ages 6–17 and their parents, as well as of parents of children ages 0–5, exploring their reading attitudes and behaviours around reading books for fun. The US editions of the survey have been conducted biannually since 2006. The full report is available for download now at www.scholastic.co.uk/readingreport.
The Kids & Family Reading Report: United Kingdom found that only one third of kids are reading books for fun 5–7 days a week, yet 71% of kids know they should be reading more for fun, and the same percentage of parents wish their child would do so. In today's digital age, reading is competing with many activities in a child's schedule but the survey's results identify opportunities to support more pleasure reading among kids by tapping into the reading experiences they enjoy at home and in school, and what kids want in books.
Catherine Bell, Co-Group MD, said, "At Scholastic, we are pleased to partner with parents and teachers throughout the UK to ensure that all children have access to the books they want most and that will develop their lifelong love of reading. I am delighted to share the results of our Kids & Family Reading Report, which confirms the importance of reading for pleasure both at the heart of school life and at home."
The Importance of Reading Aloud at Home
The Kids & Family Reading Report finds that 83% of children ages 6–17 who are or were read books aloud at home love(d) or like(d) being read to aloud a lot, mainly because "it is a special time with my parent."
Parents see the value in reading aloud to their children with 9 in 10 saying they read books aloud at home before their child turns 6 primarily to encourage reading enjoyment and to foster development of language skills.
The importance of reading aloud is supported by the survey's finding that reading aloud before children enter Reception, coupled with continuing to read aloud through ages 6–11, is a predictor of reading frequency.
When parents of children ages 0–5 are asked about reading aloud, 77% say they do so 5–7 days a week.
However, this declines to 37% among children ages 6–8 and only 1 in 5 parents read aloud 5–7 days a week to their 9–11 year-olds, even though 31% of the children ages 6–11 whose parents no longer read aloud, say they did not want their parents to stop.
Pie Corbett, English educational writer and poet, said, "The daily bedtime story is a precious and memorable time. Children who arrive in school having been read to daily, arrive with a wealth of language and a developed imagination. This should be carried on throughout the whole of the primary school so that parents share books that are beyond children's reading level. There is a direct link between the daily bedtime story from birth to 11 years and success in education. The message is - once your child can read, do not stop sharing great books with them!"
Reading in Schools
Only 45% of kids surveyed say their class or school has a designated time during the school day to read a book of their choice, with just 16% having this time every, or almost every, school day. Children ages 6–11 are the most likely to have independent reading time with 66% of children ages 6–11 reporting they read a book independently in their class or school.
However, this decreases rapidly with age as only one quarter of kids ages 12–17 have the opportunity to read independently in their class or school during the school day. Within the report, an analysis of reading frequency predictors reveals that having time to read for pleasure during the school day makes a child ages 12–17 more likely to be a frequent reader.
Overall, more children who read independently with their class or school feel positively (56%) than negatively (37%) about this experience, and say that they wish they could do this more often or that it is one of their favourite parts of the day.
Children who are given time for independent reading at school, in comparison to those who are not, are more likely to be reading currently and frequently, more likely to say reading books for fun is important, and more likely to enjoy reading.
Russell Hobby, General Secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said, "Reading for pleasure is vital; it brings fluency and opens up a wider world of experiences and ideas. We should want this for every young person and we should help people find the time – in the school day and in family life – to treasure these moments."
What Children Want in Books
Across all ages, the power of choice is a strong influencer in a child's reading habits. More than 8 in 10 agree their favourite books–and the ones they are most likely to finish–are the ones they have picked out themselves.
However, a majority of kids (68%) say they would read more if they could find more books that they like, and nearly 4 in 10 parents (38%) agree that their child has trouble finding books he or she likes, especially as their child grows older. Above all, children ages 6–17 want books that make them laugh (63%).
In our digitally-focused world, the survey also reveals what whilst 43% of kids ages 6–17 have read an ebook, 68% say they will always want to read books printed on paper, even though there are ebooks available.
Cerrie Burnell, CBeebies presenter and author, said, "You cannot underestimate the importance of story. As a dyslexic I couldn't read until I was almost nine. But I was lucky enough to have a mum who read to me every day for years, so my childhood was enriched by magnificent imaginary adventures. I wondered through Wonderland and flew to Neverland all the same. As a parent, reading aloud to my child is the perfect way to share stories without the added pressure of her having to get the words right. We can embark on magical journeys together. In my work as an author I'm always conscious of the grown up reader, and like many children's authors, I write inclusively so the story works on more than one level so both reader and listener are engaged and (hopefully) inspired."
Note to Editors:
Background on the Kids & Family Reading Report™: United Kingdom
The Kids & Family Reading Report: United Kingdom is commissioned by Scholastic and managed by YouGov. Results are from a nationally representative survey with a total sample size of 1,755 parents and children, including 349 parents of children ages 0–5; 703 parents of children ages 6–17; plus one child age 6–17 from the same household. The survey was conducted from June 3, 2015 through June 10, 2015. For the full methodology, see www.scholastic.co.uk/readingreport.
Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ: SCHL) is the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books, a leading provider of print and digital instructional materials for pre-K to grade 12, and a producer of educational and entertaining children's media. The Company creates quality books and ebooks, print and technology-based learning materials and programs, classroom magazines and other products that, in combination, offer schools customized and comprehensive solutions to support children's learning both at school and at home. The Company also makes quality, affordable books available to all children through school-based book clubs and book fairs. With a 94 year history of service to schools and families, Scholastic continues to carry out its commitment to "Open a World of Possible" for all children. Learn more at www.scholastic.co.uk/worldofpossible
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SOURCE Scholastic Inc.