Literacy from Day 1

The New York Times reinforces the importance of reading to babies from the day they are born:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/24/us/pediatrics-group-to-recommend-reading-aloud-to-children-from-birth.html?smid=fb-nytimes&WT.z_sma=US_PGT_20140624&bicmp=AD&bicmlukp=WT.mc_id&bicmst=1388552400000&bicmet=1420088400000&_r=2

I value the point in the article – read to your babies –  but dismay set in as I read the end.  The suggestions it makes about low income families and radicalized families was unsettling, perhaps an even small analysis as to WHY the statistic are what they are would be helpful.

Low-income children are often exposed little to reading before entering formal child care settings. “We have had families who do not read to their children and where there are no books in the home,”

The undertone of the above statement does not sit well with me. While implicit, the message I read is that parents with low-income do not care to read to their children or do not know the value of doing so…  is it just me that reads the tone in this way?  It would be helpful to read about why that is: parents with low-income struggle to find the time to read to their children because they are working shift work, or 2-3 jobs to make ends meet, or have such intense stresses in their lives, or have difficulty affording books and are unable to get to libraries with ease… Is it a choice to read or not read to children? Or is the suggestion an imposition of wealthy class values? The realities of low-income versus wealthy families go beyond simple statements of what they do or not do.

 

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One thought on “Literacy from Day 1

  1. “The realities of low-income versus wealthy families go beyond simple statements of what they do or not do.”

    The causes for why that is the case are so much more important than the fact that it is the case. But hopefully simply being aware of the problem will begin to enlighten people with regards to the importance of very early literacy education and the massive disparities that exist in literacy between the well-off and the poor in the US.

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