Why Kids Should Read at Least 20 Minutes a Day—POWERFUL!


What if what’s best for kids is also something that is easy to implement?

I recently had a conversation with a literacy coach from one of the districts that I support. She shared with me some of the struggles her teachers are having as they launch their distance learning plans. Even though this new normal is just a few weeks old, they have already changed direction several times as they try to get themselves on solid ground. In the process, teachers are facing so many challenges–everything from not feeling secure with their digital platforms to scheduling issues and to setting boundaries for a balanced work-home life.

There are a lot of things that are stumping us and a lot of things we can’t control right now. Where do we put our time and energy when things are changing so quickly?

Today I want to remind us of something that, no matter what the platform, no matter whether we are teaching live or online classes, something that WILL make a difference for ALL of our students is the quantity and quality of time they spend reading at home.

We know that volume of reading matters–both in and out of school. Right now is a great time to educate or re-educate our students’ parents about just how much it matters and to enlist their help in partnering with us.

Several years ago, I took pictures of this hallway display at an elementary school where I was working. I asked the teacher who created the display if I could write a blogpost about the display but never did. Now I know why–I needed to save it for this post. I could write a paragraph citing all of the research on the correlation between reading volume and achievement, but I think this infographic says it all! Feel free to share with your students’ parents.

Like you, Jenna, Christy, and I have been wrestling with what we should be spending our time on as we support the teachers we work with. Even with all of the uncertainties right now, the need to grow our students’ reading volume and engagement is something that is certain, so it is worth spending our time on lessons and strategies that will do that. For this reason, you will see us sharing LOTS of ideas to support you in this journey.

Here are some of the resources we have already provided, but stay tuned for more in the days ahead:

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