Monthly News Article for June 2022
Trinity County Office of Education
Sarah Supahan – County Superintendent of Schools
www.tcoek12.org • (530) 623-2861
By Sarah Supahan, Superintendent of Schools
Suggested Title: A home library and just six minutes of reading a day
In a recent study it was found that a child growing up in a home with at least 80 books will have greater literacy and number sense in adulthood. In addition, a home library can promote reading and math skills more than college alone. The study, which surveyed 160,000 people, found that just having 80 or more books in a home results in adults with significantly higher levels of literacy, number sense, and communication skills.
The effect was seen in children from homes whose families attained a high-school-level of education. Those children became just as successful in reading, math and communiation skills as university graduates who grew up with only a few books. Since the report found that university graduates who grew up with hardly any books around them had only average literacy levels, having books around the house is an excellent investment in a child's future. The impacts are equivalent to having additional years of education.
The study's conclusions should be heartening to families around the world unable to provide higher education for their children. Having books around the house can substantially level the playing field in reading and math skills even without the expense of college. For those who can send their kids to college, the study suggests that raising a child in a bookish atmosphere may help to get the full benefit of a college education, and it provides a child with an even greater chance of success in adulthood.
This summer, if you can’t afford to buy new books, utilize the public library or talk to your child’s teacher about the possibility of checking books out over the break. Also, look for “little free libraries” or try second hand stores. While most reading experts suggest at least 20 minutes of reading per day as the ideal, all it takes is as little as six minutes of reading a day to make a struggling reader into a proficient one, according to other research. Being a proficient reader positively affects many aspects of education and success in life in general.
Make books and reading a priority this summer. Have children read before they are allowed to utilize devices each day. Make it fun! Take a family trip to the library to check out books (Hayfork, Trinity Center, Weaverville and Willow Creek all have libraries – check their open hours online). Attend story time at the library. Set aside a family reading time each day where everyone reads at the same time (only 6 to 20 minutes is needed out of your busy schedules) or read a short book out-loud before bed (no matter how old they are). Read it by flashlight. Read a book out loud together outside under the stars, or host a summer reading backyard book party. Trade books with friends. Kids can read to a pet animal, especially books about pets. Take turns reading to each other, or have a reading-and-treat time after dinner for dessert, where everyone is allowed to read at the table. Have other friends or families join you in encouraging home libraries and reading this summer!