COVID-19 and Keeping Children to Read

Boy reading a book


School closures are impacting over 70% of the world’s student population. ​That’s a staggering 1.2 billion children out of college across over 170 countries. These last two months of faculty closures are the most important test of distance learning institutions and families have ever experienced. The burden of training children outside a conventional school setting is felt by families across the world as parents struggle to homeschool their children while also continuing to figure themselves. That is why many parents get their children involved in reading programs for kids to encourage their children to read more.

For many children within the Global North, while the transition to distance learning is difficult, it’s supported by computers within the home and readily available WiFi. The digital divide is more profoundly felt – laptops and reliable WiFi are scarce, particularly in homes, except for children in vulnerable and underserved communities within the Global South.

However, mobile phones are everywhere. In fact, of the approximately seven billion people on Earth, quite six billion have access to mobile phones. We will keep children reading and learning with this technology; that’s exactly what Worldreader is trying to try and do with the recently launched Keep Children Reading ​initiative.

The Benefits of Reading

The benefits of reading are numerous – but I’ve listed some below.

Influencing children’s vocabulary and language development.

What has been found to predict reading achievement by Year 4 (third grade within the US) is vocabulary development by age three. Comes from rich interaction between parents or caregivers and their children is vocabulary development. What is essential is dialogic reading which tends to develop larger vocabularies and become better readers are youngsters with parents who read, tell stories or sing songs. The advantages of frequent reading continue throughout primary schools while overwhelming evidence exists from child development.

The foundation for future learning. ​

Disastrous long-term consequences are the result of low achievement in reading in early primary grades. Earning potential, competitiveness and productivity are aspects of life that these knock-on effects touch. Reading ability by Year 4 may be a strong predictor of future academic success and achievement later in high school. As children grow, they’re often read to less in both the house and classroom. This is often a missed opportunity for growth as vocabulary employed in books often surpasses vocabulary employed in everyday conversation.

Reduces stress and improves empathy and bonding.

Living through a health crisis is stressful to mention the least! Reading together for a quarter-hour every day can reduce high blood pressure and foster family/community cohesion during such times. What better excuse to revisit a favorite book?



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Why we’d like to keep children reading

Rooted in both the evidence and skill that educational technology can play a key role in shaping learning during this crisis is Worldreader’s ​Keep Children Reading​ initiative.

What might contribute to a more leveled playing field and may be a lifeline during school closures is Mobile phone access. Digital books delivered on these devices can fill the academic void many teachers and oldsters struggle to fill during this time of transition to distance learning.

Another good thing about digital learning systems is that they supply data and insights – critical to understanding reading behaviors, especially during a world health crisis when students’ time in traditional classroom settings is also severely limited. Having the flexibility to live students’ time-on-task, in addition to books read, helps schools meet established learning outcomes for his or her students.

No matter where you reside, it’s imperative for all people to keep the youngsters in our lives reading. It’s essential for his or her brain development, success at school, and emotional well-being.

Luckily, uncountable people have the tools already to try to do so. They solely have to fathom them, and be properly supported with new books, reading tips, and ongoing encouragement.