A report released by the National Endowment for the Arts this month confirmed what many already suspected: Children are reading less. Over the past 15 years, the amount of time children spend reading has fallen 13% and their reading ability has declined — only one third of high school seniors are capable of reading the daily paper.
While youth report watching TV for almost 2 hours a day, they only spend an average of 7 minutes reading. The report also found that multitasking appears to be a factor when it comes to youth reading. Researchers found that most middle and high school students usually use other media when they are reading. 20% of the time they spend reading is also spent watching TV, playing video games, sending messages, or using the computer.
Two consequences stem from the above:
- 1 out of 5 American workers currently does not read at the level necessary to perform their job.
- People who are more literate are also more likely to volunteer, follow the news, and participate in sports or church, so fewer literate people may mean fewer people doing these activities as well.
Seems like the best way to get kids involved in the world around them may just be to show them how to get their heads stuck in a book. Who’d have thought?