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Americans don’t value reading to children

Kevin Palmer

Americans don’t value reading to children

By Kevin Palmer

      Margaret Peters said, “Time has a wonderful way to show us what really matters.” Apparently, literacy does not really matter because little time is spent reading to children.

According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) chart titled, Average hours per day parents spent caring for and helping household children as their main activity, “Parents spent between 4 to 7 minutes reading to household children.” Moreover, “In activities related to household children’s education, parents spent between 10 and 19 minutes.”

One the other hand, in another BLS chart titled, Average hours spent in selected leisure and sport activities by sex, employment status, and day, “Adult men and women spent between 2.37 and 2.61 hours each day watching TV and one-hour socializing.” Thus, the data suggests adults spend more time on self-gratification and less time encouraging children to read.

Even more alarming, according to another BLS chart titled, Percent of the population engaging in selected activities, averages per day, 2016 averages, “Over 95 % of the population engages in leisure and sports, and only 8% engage in educational activities.” It appears Americans are recreationally overstimulated and academically under stimulated.

Recently, the Richmond County School System in Augusta, Georgia was awarded a $1.2 million grant to improve literacy. If the school system can afford to spend a million dollars, then, parents can afford to spend more time reading to children.

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