Illiteracy In The Nation: How Your Schools Can Help

In the United States, literacy deeply and persistently affects access students have in education, economic development, and opportunities for success. Children around the country remain functionally illiterate and read below the basic level. Organizations like The Literacy Project address illiteracy at its earliest stage by teaching at-risk second-graders how to read. For schools around the nation, good work is being done in a various ways to address child illiteracy. Here are some ways schools help tackle illiteracy and improve their students reading development.

Continued Priority For Literacy Instruction and Events

Although the critical reading periods are within the lower grades, some schools prioritize literacy instruction all the way through from K to 12 to ensure students graduate at or above grade level. These schools advocate for a literacy-rich environment – full of print, word walls, books, and reading materials  – that provides children with assistance in phonics, sight word growth, comprehension and vocabulary enhancement. Government assisted programs such as SWIFT Schools and the CEEDAR Center under the Dept. of Education also provides academic and behavioral support to promote the learning and academic achievement of all students.

Host Reading-Related Events

Schools that host Scholastic Book events create environments that promote reading, collaboration, fun and learning with affordable books. Teachers may even organize book reviews for their students, and help them share their insights on books with each other and their school.

Games and Literacy Development

When schools link literacy with more popular interests such as sports or games, children are more likely to show interest in the reading material. Part of The Literacy Project’s program to tackle illiteracy is through the use of The New Phonics Game. This game is a part of a 6-week reading program to promote collaborative learning amongst students through group experience and teaches the fundamental principles of phonics and literacy.

Progression of Libraries

Research shows that when students have access to libraries, they are more inclined to interact with books and spend more time reading. Well-funded School Libraries and local libraries are environments where students have better access to interesting books and materials – both in print and online.

Daily Literacy Integration

Many schools and companies have implemented new methods to encourage children to read and improve child literacy. Schools in Umatilla, Florida and Buffalo, New York placed vending machines that disperse books, a release that was part of the states literacy week.

Literacy Campaigns

A schoolwide reading culture is essential for children to view reading a fundamental part of their lifestyle. Schools that encourage “read alouds” exposes students to moe vocabulary and provides opportunities for meaningful discussion. In the Becoming a Nation of Readers report (1985), research showed that reading aloud to children is the single most important activity for building knowledge required for eventual success in reading. Some schools also support guest readers to classrooms to take an active parts in reading sessions. If students have favorite books of their own, schools may even sponsor author visits to help build connections for students.

School and Family Collaborations

Some schools offer “Two Generation” programs that afford both children and their parents with education, job training, and community assistance. Books Clubs are also popular among students and parents to foster connectivity around books and reading. When organizations and communities provide literacy opportunities to not only cater for children but for their parents, they encourage reading to be an integral part of a family dynamic.


When schools address the areas where students can improve their literacy capabilities, the better the outcomes for students and the nation as a whole. Though there are various challenges to be crossed not only at the classroom level, but on a community level, the methods for helping students continue to gain momentum. The Literacy Project (TLP) is one organization that aims to bridge the literacy gap by introducing programs to remove the impediment of illiteracy and foster a life-long love of reading. By promoting learning in a fun, social and interactive environment and using proven methods to maximize the learning experience, The Literacy Project (TLP) accesses and enhances key phonic skills among struggling readers, and fosters self-sufficiency and economic success through academic achievement.

Discover how you can help your child read better today.

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