It is the simplest, cheapest, most enjoyable way to give a child a healthy start in life: Read to them.
Read aloud to your children and grandchildren. Read and sing and talk to them every day. Read to them until they can read for themselves. Then read together. And read to them some more until they start school, then encourage them to read even more.
Data compiled by the Canadian Paediatric Society illustrates that:
- Forty-two per cent of Canadians 16 to 65 years of age do not have the minimum literacy skills for coping with everyday life and work in a knowledge-based economy.
- Low literacy skills are found among 80 per cent of prison inmates, 60 per cent of immigrants (compared with 37 per cent of native-born Canadians) and 18 per cent to 38 per cent of youth, depending on the region of the country.
- Five per cent to 15 per cent of schoolchildren have reading delays, and most kids who have not mastered reading by the end of Grade 3 will never catch up.
- People with low literacy skills are twice as likely to be unemployed.
- Fifty per cent of adults with low literacy levels live below the poverty line.
- Literacy problems cost Canada $10-billion a year.
To learn more about how reading to your child is the best medicine for success in life, click here