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Children's Literacy: Latest Research

"Literacy is an individual's ability to read, write, and speak in English, and compute and solve problems at levels of proficiency necessary to function on the job and in society, to achieve one's goals, and to develop one's knowledge and potential."
--National Literacy Act, 1991

Closing the Rich/Poor Reading Achievement Gap

"This study provides the best evidence to date that ensuring easy and continuing access to self-selected books for summer reading is one potential strategy for addressing summer reading setback and, therefore, addressing the reading achievement gap that 424 R. L. Allington et al. exists between students from more and less economically advantaged families." - from Addressing Summer Reading Setback Among Economically Disadvantaged Elementary Students. By Richard L. Allington and Anne McGill-Franzen

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Summer Reading Loss

How does summer loss affect students' reading achievement? Summer reading loss refers to the decline in children's reading development that can occur during summer vacation times when children are away from the classroom and not participating in formal literacy programs (Allington & McGill-Franzen, 2003). Researchers have uncovered evidence to suggest that the impact of summer reading loss on students in general, and on at-risk students in particular, is significant.

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Access to Print in Low-Income and Middle-Income Communities: An Ecological Study of Four Neighborhoods

"Results of the year-long analysis indicated striking differences between neighborhoods of differing income in access to print at all levels of analyses, with middle-income children having a large variety of resources to choose from, while low-income children having to rely on public institutions which provide unequal resources across communities. Such differences in access to print resources may have important implications for children's early literacy development." - Susan B. Neuman and Donna Celano

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Book Deserts: The Consequences of Income Segregation on Children’s Access to Print

"We examine the influence of income segregation on a resource vital to young children’s development: a family’s access to books in early childhood. Income segregation reflects the growing economic segregation of neighborhoods for people living in privilege (1%) compared with those in poverty or near-poverty (20%). After describing recent demographic shifts, we examine access to print for children in six urban neighborhoods. Results indicate stark disparities in access to print for those living in concentrated poverty. We argue that such neighborhoods constitute “book deserts,” which may seriously constrain young children’s opportunities to come to school “ready to learn.” - Susan B. Neuman and Naomi Moland

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Why Read Aloud?

"This may be the first brain-imaging study showing the benefits of reading aloud to young children, but it builds upon decades of related research. For example, one early childhood study found that kindergarten children who were read to at least three times a week had a “significantly greater phonemic awareness than did children who were read to less often, and were almost twice as likely to score in the top 25 percent in reading readiness.”

--Making the Most of Reading Aloud: Practical Strategies for Parents of Young Children
By Deborah Farmer Kris

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