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Maria Salvadore

Reading Rockets' children's literature expert, Maria Salvadore, brings you into her world as she explores the best ways to use kids' books both inside — and outside — of the classroom.

Common sense confirmed: books + access = young readers

September 24, 2010

It's something that makes perfect sense. Those who work with children have seen it time and time again. But now there is actual data to support what common sense has told us all along: "Giving children access to print materials is associated with positive behavioral, educational, and psychological outcomes."

These findings were announced earlier this week by Reading Is Fundamental (RIF). The summary of the meta-analysis is available as well as the full report. It makes good reading.

Not only does it support what RIF has been doing for over 40 years, it reinforces the importance of both public and school libraries, the work of local organizations like Turning the Page, and the charitable activities of booksellers and publishers (such as the Scholastic's ClassroomsCare program).

I've seen children changed by books. All they need is to have easy access to them and worlds open up, possibilities can be explored, connections made — to others and to the world.

Now that we have the data to support the importance of books in the well being and education to our children, let's make sure that their access to them continues.

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"Reading should not be presented to children as a chore or duty. It should be offered to them as a precious gift." — Kate DiCamillo