A child's first school is the home. In grades K through 4, children learn to read. In grades 5 and beyond, children learn through reading. Reading at home is critical to being ready and confident to read at school.
Too many children struggle with learning to read. As many teachers and parents will attest, reading failure has enacted a tremendous long-term consequence for children's developing self-confidence and motivation to learn, as well as for their later school performance. (The National Reading Panel 2000)
The typical middle-class child enters first grade with 1,000 – 1,700 hours of one-on-one picture book reading; a child from a low-income family averages just 25 hours. (M. J. Adams, 1990)
61 percent of low-income families have no books at all in their homes for their children. (Reading Literacy in the United States, 1996)
Low literacy is strongly related to unemployment. More than 20% of adults read at or below a fifth grade level (US Dept of Education)
75% of today's jobs require at least a ninth-grade reading level (National Institute for Literacy, 1998)
Low literacy is strongly related to poverty. 43% of those with the lowest literacy skills live in poverty. (National Institute for Literacy, 1998)