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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Read to Kids

There's a mountain of research showing that one of the greatest predictors of literacy is the number of books in the home. Kids with 0-10 books in the home score far lower on reading comprehension tests than kids with more than 200 books in the home. In surveys, low-income, inner-city families often report an average of less than 1 book in the home. (Frequently the sole book in the house is the Bible, not exactly kid-friendly reading.) In fact, the number of words you hear in the first few years of life are a huge predictor of whether or not you'll make it out there in the world. This can be taught to anyone, regardless of income. The Harlem Children's Zone is producing AMAZING results. The This American Life story on it is inspiring.

Knowing all of this, knowing how important on so many levels reading to your kids is, this story of a father and daughter with a nine-year bedtime story streak just socked me in the gut. That is one seriously awesome dad.

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