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Dr. Joanne Meier

Along with her background as a professor, researcher, writer, and teacher, Joanne Meier is a mom. Join Joanne every week as she shares her experiences raising her own young readers, and guides parents and teachers on the best practices in reading.

Who has access to books?

May 12, 2009

Around here at Reading Rockets we're gathering together terrific summer reading and learning resources. One important topic within summer reading is access to books and print for children from lower-income households.

Researchers Neuman and Celano quantified the "differential access to print" across four different communities. The tables in the results section alone are worth looking at; I think you'll be startled to see the differences in the number of reading resources within communities, the number and conditions of signs within neighborhoods, how many books were available within preschool classrooms, and more.

In their book Summer Reading, Shin and Krashen summarize their research on summer access with these points:

So, here's the bottom line: Children of poverty need more access to reading material, especially during the summer.

Next week: What my elementary school is doing to give kids more access to books this summer.

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"There is no substitute for books in the life of a child." — May Ellen Chase