There is a somber theme that seems to recur in schools all across the United States -- students everywhere are having difficulty learning to read, and they are slipping through the cracks. Children are at the heart of building a stronger, sounder future for our world, and letting these struggling readers fall is like letting a major vessel bleed out.
Over 40 million Americans struggle with literacy, and there is so much more that can be done to help students not only in elementary schools but in middle schools and high schools as well.
“Teaching reading has long been considered the job of primary grade teachers,” as an article in The Washington Post discusses.
“’This assumption that students master all the reading skills they need by the end of third grade just doesn’t fly,’ said Beth Cady, spokeswoman for the International Reading Association.”
Struggling readers are not the only ones who need to feel supported in order to bring up literacy rates. Teachers need to have access to the proper tools, training, and continued professional development in order to reach the students who are being let down.
Educators are finding that providing struggling readers in secondary institutions with the resources they need to bring their reading levels up is as equally important as it is for struggling readers in elementary schools, if not more critical as the lives of these teens fast-approach adulthood.
There are many different reasons why remedial readers aren’t receiving the support they need to flourish; one factor in what should be a network of support for teaching reading cannot be the sole source of blame. Implementing the right reading programs, following the Response to Intervention model, and empowering teachers with the tools they need to become reading specialists are a few things that can provide support on the school front.
Just as important as the reading help that should be found in schools is the foundation for reading that needs to be built at home. Unfortunately, even the reach of the best-equipped teachers can only extend so far. Encouraging autonomous reading at home is something that has been proven to help struggling readers.
It is not always easy to get students motivated to read at home, especially as they get older and distractions increase.
Please share any suggestions for motivating kids of all ages to read at home in the comment section below.