Happy International Literacy Day
International Literacy Day 2012
This past Saturday was International Literacy Day! Did you know we only have one year left in the United Nations Literacy Decade? Not even – the initiative started January 1, 2003, so we’re down to 3 months and 23 days. Amazingly, the United States continues to report a 99% literacy rate across the population, yet since 1992 The Nation’s Report Card continues to show that at least one-third of our fourth graders are reading below the Basic level.
At K12, we’re working hard to remedy this issue. We’ve recently developed a second generation Language Arts program for students in grades K-3 (K and 2 are in wide release this year; look for grades 1 and 3 in the fall of 2013!). These new courses still cover the classic literature, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension instruction of the old program, but they’re done with new, engaging materials and more built in assessment to make sure your student is making progress.
Our goal is to set kids up for reading success by the end of third grade. While we expect our kindergartners to finish the school year as readers, with each passing grade students should become more and more mature readers, able to do more than simply decode sentences—as in kindergarten. Students should understand, discuss, and share what they’ve read—as in grades 1 and up).
Admittedly, not every child learns to read in the same way at the same pace. Technically speaking, half the population should have no trouble learning to read – but that also means half the population will have to work at learning to read. Still, 10-15% of the population struggles with severe reading problems. For some of these students in grades 3-5, MARK12 may be the answer.
The most important thing to remember is that you, the parent, are your child’s first and best teacher. While K12 provides you with the additional tools you need to teach your child to read, nothing could help them more than simply reading with you. Take some time today to read with your family—today and every day. And, for ideas on celebrating International Literacy Day, click here or here. Or, if you’re in the market for a new book, consider a purchase from Better World Books, where every purchase is matched with a book donation.