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Literacy facts

1. The future success of children lies in the ability to read fluently and understand what is read. Studies show that at least one out of five students has significant difficulty in reading acquisition (Therrien, 2004). Nationally,40% of fourth graders do not have skills and knowledge to adequately perform the necessary grade level work. 60-70% of reading failure is noted in minority groups: African Americans, Hispanics, ELL and children living in poverty.

2. It is very important to note that a substantial number of children from highly literate households and who have been read to by their parents since very early in life also have difficulties learning to read.
Lyon, G. Reid. "Report on Learning Disabilities Research." Prepared Statement to the Committee on Education and the Workforce. U.S. House of Representatives, APA Science Advocacy (July 10, 1997).

3. National Institute of Health studies are finding that at least 95% of even the poorest readers can learn to read at grade level if they are given proper instruction in sound-letter relationships.
Lally, Kathy and Debbie M. Price. "Learning How We Read." Palm Beach Post, West Palm Beach, Florida (January 4, 1998): plA+.

4. Having kids read a lot is one of the crucial components of becoming a good reader. Young readers need to become practiced at recognizing letters and sounds. The only way to get good at it is to practice.
"Reading Research Read to Go." National Educational Association Today 17 no. 4
(Jan. 1999) 6

5. Four year old children who were read one alphabet book per day significantly improved in their awareness of phonemes - tiny letter sounds that make up words.

What does research say about effective reading instruction?

Well-designed instructional approaches include these components and practices in reading instruction:
1. Direct teaching of decoding, comprehension
2. Phoneme awareness instruction
3. Systematic and explicit instruction in the code system of written English
4. Daily exposure to a variety of texts as well as incentives for children to read independently and with others
5. Vocabulary instruction that includes a variety of complementary methods designed to explore the relationships among words and the relationships among word structure, origin, and meaning
6. Comprehension strategies that include prediction of outcomes, summarizing, clarification, questioning, and visualization
7. Frequent writing of prose to enable deeper understanding of what is read
American Federation of Teachers

Systematic and explicit phonics instruction significantly improves children’s reading comprehension.

Systematic and explicit phonics instruction is particularly beneficial for children who are having difficulty learning to read and who are at risk for developing future reading problems.

Systematic and explicit phonics instruction is most effective when introduced early.

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