Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Place and Reading Skills

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Place and Reading Skills

Article excerpt

A study from the University of British Columbia (UBC) finds that the neighborhoods in which children reside at kindergarten predict their reading comprehension skills seven years later. The study, published in the journal Health & Place, finds children who live in neighborhoods with higher rates of poverty show reduced scores on standardized tests seven years later--regardless of the child's place of residence in seventh grade. The study is the first of its kind to compare the relative effects of neighborhood poverty at early childhood and early adolescence.

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"Our findings suggest that it's not necessarily where children live later in life that matters for understanding literacy in early adolescence--it's where they lived years earlier," says lead researcher Jennifer Lloyd of UBC's Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP). "Children's reading comprehension may be set on a negative course early in life if children and their families are living in resource-deprived places."

Lloyd explored children's seventh-grade reading comprehension outcomes in relation to their residential neighborhoods' level of poverty (concentrated disadvantage) at kindergarten and seventh grade. Higher rates of poverty have been shown to be associated with higher rates of infant mortality, low birth weight, high school dropout rates, and adolescent delinquency. …

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