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2008 Kids and Family Reading Report from Scholastic

Scholastic and Yankelovich conducted a survey to examine the factors shaping children’s relationship with reading now, and as we progress through the 21st century. The key findings of the research, based on interviews with 501 children age 5-17 and their parents or guardians (1000+ total respondents) in 25 cities across the country, are as follows: Kids & Reading 1) A majority of kids say they like to read books for fun and that reading books for fun is important. Most kids perceive a correlation between reading and success. 2) One in four kids age 5–17 reads books for fun every day (high frequency reader), and more than half of kids read books for fun at least two to three times a week. 3) Reading frequency declines after age eight and is stronger among girls than boys. Technology & Reading 1) Kids believe that technology will complement — not replace — book reading. After age eight, more children go online daily than read for fun daily; however, high frequency Internet users are still more likely than lower frequency users to read books for fun every day.[Note: High frequency online children are children age 5-8 who go online every day or almost every day and children age 9-17 who go online every day. Low frequency online kids are online kids who do not fall into the “high” group.] 2) The majority of kids of all ages (62%) prefer to read books printed on paper rather than on a computer or handheld device. 3) Nearly two in three online tweens and teens (age 9-17) have extended the reading experience via the internet. These kids are more likely to value and enjoy reading, read more frequently, and agree with the statement: “No matter what I can do online, I’ll always want to read books printed on paper.” Parent’s Role 1) Parents overwhelmingly view reading as the most important skill a child needs to develop. Trouble finding books they like is a key reason kids say they do not read more frequently. 2) Mom is the top source for book suggestions for kids age 5-11, and friends are most influential among kids age 12-17, who also turn to the Internet. 3)Eighty-two percent of parents say they wish their child would read more books for fun, and parents employ several tactics to encourage kids to read more.

Interesting stuff. The survey was administered via a computer survey, which makes me curious how this affected the results, but I think on the whole their findings seem to make common sense.

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