Why Reading Matters
"It's great if you can read but the question is: do you read? If you do the world is yours. This is what Readathon is all about."
Michael Rosen, Children's Laureate 2007-2009
It's been proven time and time again that encouraging children to read for pleasure can transform their lives.
It more important than wealth or social background in improving a child's future socially, psychologically, academically and vocationally.
Readathon is great for encouraging children of any age to read for pleasure. It’s particularly good for struggling or reluctant readers, including boys.
Here's just a sample of the copious national and international research demonstrating the benefits of reading for pleasure.
- “Reading for pleasure is more important for children’s educational success than their family’s socio-economic status.” Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Reading for Change, Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)
- “A deep engagement with storytelling and great literature link directly to emotional development in primary children.” The Rose Review, 2008 Independent Review of the Primary School Curriculum.
- “80% of children who read above the expected level for their age have books of their own; while only 58% who read below their expected level have books of their own." National Literacy Trust (NLT)
- “...research presents overwhelming evidence that literacy has a significant relationship with a person’s happiness and success.” NLT
- “Leisure reading makes students more articulate, develops higher order reasoning, and promotes critical thinking.” National Endowment for the Arts in To read or not to read, 2007
- "Children in England tend to report reading for pleasure less frequently than their peers in many other countries. There is a strong association between the amount of reading for pleasure children reported and their reading achievement.” Progress in International Reading and Literacy Study (PIRLS); National Foundation for Educational Research, 2006, Twist et al. National Report for England.
Readathon's Own Research
Here are the results of our research among educational professionals.
- Over 90% of respondents welcome anything that will help them motivate pupils to decide to read. It’s not just about employment prospects and exam success.
- Over 96% believe ‘reading what they want’ helps children develop.
- Neither the content nor its format is considered as important as it once was. Many teachers welcome anything to encourage reading, including comics (90%), DVDs (55%) and even mobile phones (32%).
- With reading via the internet (72%) now more likely to be listed than newspapers (70%), teachers recognise the positive attributes of digital media. Almost two thirds of respondents approved of digital reading devices and 72% are expecting digital books to become more important in the future.
- Over 54% of teachers felt that there is little time for pupils to read for pleasure during school hours, although only 12% cited lack of support from within the school itself to encourage the activity.
For more information
There is much more compelling evidence of the benefits of reading for pleasure. To read in full the National Literary Trust’s 2008 report on the importance of reading for pleasure, please click here. For more information, please contact us.