According to a study published in the Urban Education journal, close physical proximity to books and greater adult support for reading enhances children’s learning opportunities. The study found that children who had the highest adult support benefited the most from reading. Conversely, limited access to books is a barrier to reading for children living in low-income neighbourhoods.
In the study, four low-income neighbourhoods, three in Detroit and one in Washington D.C., received book-dispensing vending machines over two summer months. It was found that the vending machines were heavily used, distributing over 64,000 books over the eight-week period. Children who used the machines reported enjoying reading and said they appreciated the opportunity to have books more accessible in the community. Parents and grandparents were also highly influential in encouraging children to select books and motivate them to enjoy reading.
The report concluded by recognising that providing access to resources and encouraging adult support, may be a key enabler toward enhancing parent engagement as well as children’s early literacy development.
This article definitely reinforces the notion that parents play an important role in a student’s attitude towards learning. Children with strong parental support are more motivated and typically do better in school and in developing literacy skills. In fact, the process of education is an ecosystem in itself with several stakeholders – teachers alone do not bear the sole responsibility of education.
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