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'To Read or Not to Read' and What Parents Need to Do

This was the title of a recent National Endowment of the Arts study.

Among the key findings:

Americans are reading less - teens and young adults read less often and for shorter amounts of time compared with other age groups and with Americans of previous years.

* Less than one-third of 13-year-olds are daily readers, a 14 percent decline from 20 years earlier. Among 17-year-olds, the percentage of non-readers doubled over a 20-year period, from nine percent in 1984 to 19 percent in 2004.1
* On average, Americans ages 15 to 24 spend almost two hours a day watching TV, and only seven minutes of their daily leisure time on reading.2

Americans are reading less well – reading scores continue to worsen, especially among teenagers and young males. By contrast, the average reading score of 9-year-olds has improved.

* Reading scores for 12th-grade readers fell significantly from 1992 to 2005, with the sharpest declines among lower-level readers.3
* 2005 reading scores for male 12th-graders are 13 points lower than for female 12th-graders, and that gender gap has widened since 1992.4
* Reading scores for American adults of almost all education levels have deteriorated, notably among the best-educated groups. From 1992 to 2003, the percentage of adults with graduate school experience who were rated proficient in prose reading dropped by 10 points, a 20 percent rate of decline.5


1. U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
2. U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, American Time Use Survey (2006)
3. U.S. Department of Education, NCES, The Nation's Report Card: Reading 2005
4. U.S. Department of Education, NCES, The Nation's Report Card: Reading 2005
5. U.S Department of Education, NCES, National Assessment of Adult Literacy (2007)

The study mentions online reading was part of what they measured. My original question was if 'traditional vehicles of media (print, bound paper) are slowly being replaced by electronic ones (online & E-book readers-like the new Kindle from Amazon)?

Whether my my question gets answered or not, parents need to step up and model reading themselves for their kids in their homes so they see its importance.