April, 7

The more you read, the better you get!

Reading for 30+ minutes a day is a greater predictor of academic success than social or economic background. “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” (Dr. Seuss, I Can Read with My Eyes Shut!)

Anything worth doing takes practice to master. From learning an instrument to playing a sport, no one expects greatness on the first attempt. Or the second. Or the third. It’s no secret that the more you practice something, the better you become. So, why then should reading be any different?

A recent study of the reading practices of almost 10 million students found that over half the students read less than 15 minutes a day. This is troubling because “15 minutes seems to be the ‘magic number’ at which students start seeing substantial positive gains in reading achievement; students who read just over a half-hour to an hour per day see the greatest gains of all”.(The magic of 15 minutes: Reading practice and reading growth, Renaissance.com)

And what exactly are these gains? Vocabulary, vocabulary, vocabulary. Students who read 30+ minutes a day from Kindergarten through 12th grade are expected to encounter 13.7 million words, whereas students who read less than 15 minutes a day are expected to be exposed to only 1.5 million words during that same 12 year span. That’s over 12 million more words for the frequent readers, or 9 times the vocabulary growth! A richer vocabulary leads to greater achievement in reading, because reading comprehension relies on depth and breadth of vocabulary knowledge. This, in turn, leads to higher high school graduation rates and college enrollment rates. (The magic of 15 minutes: Reading practice and reading growth, Renaissance.com)

Schools must make it a priority to ensure that students are getting enough daily reading practice. Parents must encourage reading for pleasure at home. And our goal at Rally is to make it easy for you to start - right here, right now.

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