Though reading is certainly a focus on every day of the school year, this past Friday had a unique significance as it was “Read Across America Day.” Held annually each year on the birthday of Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel, KCS celebrates all-things-literacy on this special day with a wide variety of school and classroom-based events. It is definitely a day to focus on the importance and love of reading!
This week, let’s take a look at some key information related to literacy and focus on some sights from across the district as KCS celebrates Read Across America Day.
- In addition to teaching technical reading skills, KCS teachers focus daily on developing excited readers. This week has been no exception, as a special focus on the love of reading has been evident in schools across the district.
- A key component to the KCS literacy development lies in engaging students in a high volume of complex and engaging texts. With support from teachers, readers are guided to texts that spark a love for reading that will carry them through adulthood.
- Is having young children read daily important? Studies show that a student that reads 20 minutes a day will read 1.8 million words per year and is likely to score in the 90th percentile on standardized assessments. A child that reads only one minute per day will read approximately 8,000 words per year and is likely to score in the 10th percentile on standardized assessments.
- Reading promotes achievement in all subjects, not just English. Children who are good readers tend to achieve better across the curriculum. Additionally, reading is a much more complex task for the human brain than watching TV. Reading strengthens existing brain connections, as well as building new ones.
- Does reading achievement have a significant impact on society? You bet. In data provided by the United Way, the cost of illiteracy to business and the taxpayer is estimated to be $20 billion per year. Yes, that was billion… with a “b.”
- Did you know how Read Across America Day started? It was first celebrated in 1998 as a brainchild of the National Education Association in an effort to celebrate reading.
Bonus fact: One of Dr. Seuss’ most famous books, The Cat in the Hat, was written because of a challenge to publish a book using 400 words that were given to him. Those words were believed to be the most important words for 1st graders to recognize. Geisel wrote the book, which was an instant success, in just nine months using only 225 words from that list.
Next week in the Saturday Six: Student athletes all across KCS have been doing some amazing things in the past few months. We’ll take a look at what has been accomplished and preview the spring season that’s on the horizon.