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Global Need for Increased Access to Children’s Books in the Home

September 8, 2017


International Literacy Day: Research from 5 Countries Reveals the Global Need for Increased Access to Children’s Books in the Home

Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report™ U.S., U.K., Australia, India, and Canada Editions Highlight Ways for Families to Build Home Libraries and Help Children Find Books that Will Inspire a Love of Reading

NEW YORK, NY – September 6, 2017– Friday, September 8 is International Literacy Day and in recognition, Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, is calling attention to the global need to increase access to children’s books in the home and providing ways for families to build home libraries and encourage their kids to become lifelong readers. The Company surveyed parents and their children in five countries for the most recent editions of the Kids & Family Reading Report™. The findings from the report suggest simple insights that can help caregivers everywhere support literacy, the data reveals low averages of children’s books in the homes of kids ages 0–17, reporting 104 books on average in the U.S., 140 in the U.K., 159 in Australia, 89 in India, and 80 in Canada, regardless of the number of children in the home.

To learn more about the reports and download report infographics, visit http://www.scholastic.com/readingreport.

The research from Scholastic underscores the importance of access to books by showing that when kids have a large home library, they are more likely to be frequent readers who read books for fun 5–7 days a week. The research also provides actionable takeaways any family can embrace to inspire a culture of reading at home, including:

  • Ask family members, friends, librarians and teachers for book recommendations: In each country, children ages 6–17 find their best book ideas from many different people and places. Top sources are:
    • 51% of kids in the U.S. say teachers and school librarians
    • 45% of kids in the U.K report the library
    • 72% and 82% of kids in Australia and India, respectively, look to their parents
    • 50% of kids in Canada get ideas from friends, siblings or cousins.
  • Find books that make kids laugh: “Make me laugh” is the #1 quality kids ages 6–17 look for when choosing books to read for fun (42% U.S., 63% U.K., 61% Australia, 62%, India, and 46% Canada).
  • Set aside time to read aloud together—and keep it going as a child gets older: An overwhelming majority of children ages 6–17 reported they love (or loved) read aloud time at home and the top reason was “it’s a special time with my parent,” yet many  parents stop reading aloud at age six.

“Children need access to a large variety of books: Fiction develops a child’s love of stories, empathy for others, and strength of character, while nonfiction allows them to explore the world and learn about others,” said Michael Haggen, Chief Academic Officer, Scholastic Education. “With only 100 children’s books on average for the entire family, kids are unlikely to find all the stories and knowledge needed to spark a love of reading, increase their confidence as learners, and discover themselves. This International Literacy Day we highlight the importance of children having increased access to books at home and provide easy-to-implement solutions for families to make that happen.”

Results are from representative surveys conducted online and in English, managed by the third-party global research firm YouGov (research.yougov.com). In each country, at least 1,000 parents of children ages 0–17 and at least 695 children ages 6–17 were surveyed. For a full, detailed methodology for the Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report U.S., U.K., Australia, India, and Canada editions, visit www.scholastic.com/readingreport.

For more information about Scholastic, visit http://mediaroom.scholastic.com.


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