Scholastic’s new Kids and Family Reading Report contains lots of valuable information about UK children’s reading. These are some of the particularly important findings:
- Reading for enjoyment and reading frequency diminish drop significantly after the age of 11. Screen-related activities are implicated in this decline.
- The vast majority of parents say reading for enjoyment is important.
- The biggest predictors of a child’s reading frequency include: reading enjoyment; parental engagement; parents’ reading frequency; independent reading choice; the amount they were read to before reception year.
- The vast majority of children of all ages love(d) being read to. Lots who are no longer read to did not want their parents to stop. In response, Frank Cottrell-Boyce has issued a plea for a return to the bedtime story.
- Children of all ages are more likely to finish a book that they pick for themselves.
- Children who are given time to read books of their choice at school are more likely to read frequently and to enjoy reading. This has lead to a call for independent reading time to be built into secondary school timetables.
- Libraries and school book fairs and book club flyers, along with bookshops, are the leading sources children ages 6–11 use to find books to read for fun.
- Most children and young people prefer reading print books to e-books.
The report has some great quotes. Here are my favourites;
- ‘I love reading because I learn new things.’ 5 year-old girl
- ‘There’s not much you can do if you can’t read, is there?’ 7 year-old boy
- ‘I love reading because it makes me feel really clever.’ 7 year-old girl
- ‘Reading fills your brain with all the imagination you need.’ 9 year-old boy
- ‘Reading ….. can take me to a completely different world that I’ve never been to before.’ 10 year-old boy
- ‘Reading is dreaming with open eyes.’ 12 year-old girl
- ‘Reading takes you away from real life for a bit. I just love it.’ 15 year-old girl