ALDEN, Mich., March 2, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- While parents know that reading books aloud positively impacts brain development, a new survey conducted by YouGov for the non-profit Read Aloud 15 MINUTES finds that only 42 percent of parents read aloud to their children every day, and only 30 percent do so for at least 15 minutes.
It is important to read aloud to children every day from birth — as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The survey's findings suggest a growing awareness of this; 30 percent of parents say their child was read aloud to from birth, up 15 percent from 2016.
Despite the growth in reading from birth, the frequency with which children are being read aloud to has declined slightly overall. Moreover, a startling 65 percent of parents say they stop reading aloud daily once their child reaches school age (six to eight). This trend is especially worrying when an increasing number of states are requiring third-grade reading proficiency for promotion to grade four. In 2015, for example, roughly two out of three fourth-graders were below proficient readers.
"Read Aloud 15 MINUTES believes that when these numbers change — when daily reading aloud, starting from birth and continuing well into school age, becomes the national caregiving standard — we will see a drastic change in school readiness and reading skills," says the non-profit's President and Co-Founder, Dr. Candace Kendle.
Other key findings:
- Parents' idealized vision of reading aloud may be preventing them from making it a habit. For example, most parents (71 percent) reported reading aloud to children at bedtime, suggesting missed opportunities to incorporate reading aloud into other activities such as bath time, mealtime and play time.
- Parents identified a range of obstacles to reading aloud daily, including time and behavior. For example, 33 percent of parents who read aloud less often than every day say they "just can't find the time in the day" while 34 percent of parents say their child "won't sit still long enough to be read to."
- Just over half (56 percent) of parents have received the advice to read aloud to their children for 15 minutes every day, starting from birth. While this is down from 62 percent in 2016, income differences have leveled off, with lower income parents now being just as likely as higher income parents to have received this advice.
Read Aloud 15 MINUTES' 10-year National Campaign aims to change these behaviors, in part by aiding parents' understanding of early brain development. "We think if parents truly grasped the amazing, and finite, window they have to shape their child's brain for the better through 15 minutes of daily reading aloud from birth, they would do it," Kendle says.
The new Read Aloud survey is part of March Read Aloud Month. The campaign brings together a diverse coalition of partners — from corporations such as UPS and Home Depot, to educational giants such as SUNY and the University of North Carolina, to more than 10,000 grassroots partners in all 50 states — to reach a broad audience of millions.
To learn more or to participate in March Read Aloud Month, visit ReadAloud.org.
SOURCE Read Aloud 15 MINUTES