Education Matters – for sure
An education advocate, Ron Marks has been an outspoken member of local and regional school boards and a former Stellarton mayor. His column runs weekly
"Perhaps the most important thing schools could be doing is to get the message out more clearly to parents that reading at home for pleasure is vital to children's long term success."
This quote from Ontario's 2011 People for Education reports also goes on to say that only "21 per cent of Ontario's Grade 3 students report reading together with a parent or guardian, every day or almost every day."
As parents, grandparents and guardians we need to know that reading for fun at home builds good readers. Schools and teachers need to encourage parents to read with their children for pleasure. One of the challenges for parents and educators is to ingrain a sense of pleasure in reading by providing reading materials that students find interesting and relevant.
People for Education (2011) also reports that "Libraries and teacher-librarians affect students' enjoyment of reading. Research shows that certain school-based factors can have a positive effect on students' enjoyment of reading. School libraries stand out as a largely untapped resource when it comes to building students joy of reading."
Many studies show a relationship between student performance on tests and their access to school librarians and one of the most important studies completed with the help of Queen's University shows that "in schools with teacher-librarians, the students were more likely to report that they 'liked to read.'" In fact, schools with teacher-librarians had reading enjoyment levels considerably higher than the average.
Nova Scotia has a good history of reading results and in general they continue to improve. As a province we need to continue with this improvement. I know that the Chignecto Central Regional School Board and our school board members continue to stress reading and writing as keys to success for our students.
As we encourage our children to read for the fun of it, parents and grandparents have a key role. Our children are counting on us. Please help our children read for the fun of it. It will broaden their horizons, help them use their imagination, think creatively, understand humanity and feel more engaged as citizens of the world.