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Reading Tools Help

Why Reading Tools are Necessary:
An Overview of America’s Reading Crisis

You may wonder why a new reading tool like the mark-my-time digital bookmark is necessary. But when you consider the current crisis being experienced by schools across the country, you begin to realize the full scope of the problem.

At the heart of educational concerns is a focus on reading proficiency as evidenced by President George W. Bush’s recent "No Child Left Behind Act". This law contains the most sweeping changes to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act since it was enacted in 1965.

Here are just a few startling statistics to consider. They confirm that America is, indeed, experiencing a reading deficiency both in the classroom and at home.

  • According to a May 16, 2004, article in The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel... "Statistic show that most students do not read for pleasure on their own time every day, and the older they get, the less they read. The most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress scores reveal that only 45% of fourth graders and a mere 19% of eighth graders read for fun every day."

  • According to the Johns Hopkins Center for Summer Learning, students–particularly children from low-income families–can lose as much as two months of reading achievement during the summer break. Over the years, this gap can lead some children to fall more than two years behind their peers in verbal achievement.

  • A study published during the 1990s called "Meaningful Differences" analyzed all communications in the home between the parents and children up to age four. The results: the children of professional parents had heard an accumulated 45 million words by age four; the working class child had heard 26 million, and the family at poverty level had been exposed to just 13 million.

  • Reading test results from 2000 show that, across the country, fewer than one-third of fourth-graders read proficiently. Without intervention, weak readers struggle throughout school because they cannot keep up with the grade-level textbooks.

  • In an August 20, 2004, AP (Associated Press) wire report, the results of third and fourth grade reading proficiency tests were released for Ohio’s eight big city districts as a representative of how students are faring across the country. None of the districts met the minimum state standard of 75%. Even more disappointing was that, in every case except one, the percentages actually declined between third and fourth grade.

  • The Olympian, a Washington newspaper, wrote on August 5, 2001.... "A recent report found that 13 percent of college freshmen needed to take remedial reading classes. The problem is so dire that President Bush wants to spend $5 billion over five years on programs to boost reading and push a strong academic focus in Head Start."

  • An AP (Associated Press) wire story in California on April 9, 2004, documented.... Research suggests that kids who watch less television read better and show more academic success. The more TV, the worse the child’s performance: those who watch six or more hours a day score significantly lower on reading proficiency tests than those who watch one hour or less, according to the TV-Turnoff Network, a national non-profit organization encouraging people to watch less television. The organization said American children watch nearly three hours of television a day–that’s more time spent in front of the set per year than in school...
 
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“As the principal of an elementary school, I am constantly looking for ways to motivate and encourage my students to read. When I saw the Mark-My-Time digital bookmark, I thought it would be a great way to encourage my students to read more. “

—Clint Terza, Austell Elementary
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