In the U.S.:
Seventy percent of eight graders are not proficient in reading–and most will never catch up.
1.2 million students drop out of high school each year. That’s one every 26 seconds.
1/4 of high school freshman fail to graduate on time.
2/3 of jobs require college education.
(source: ED in ‘08)
One of the most important gifts you might give this holiday season is the gift of education.
Raising a Reader gets parents engaged in teaching their children to read.
Closer to home, don’t just buy your child or grandchild a book; make time to read with them. If you give allowance, consider paying your child to read books of your choice and then giving you a book report.
Last night I gave my son Hunter an article on scramjet and ramjet aviation technology. I asked him to read it in exchange for $1 if he could answer some basic questions I asked him after he finished. It was fun for both of us and the best buck I spent yesterday.
One of the best ways to encourage learning is to model curiosity and a love for learning. Get reacquainted with your local public library or spend an hour browsing your neighborhood bookstore. Get up a little bit earlier or go to bed a little bit later and spend some time reading.
It is one of the best gifts you can give anyone, including yourself.