Magazine article American Libraries

Jumpstart Survey Exposes Literacy Gap

Magazine article American Libraries

Jumpstart Survey Exposes Literacy Gap

Article excerpt

Ninety-five percent of Americans consider early childhood literacy important, but they do not know that reading to children ages 3-5 has long-term consequences for their academic achievement and lifelong success, according to a Jumpstart survey released September 17 at a press conference in Washington, D.C. The poll shows that 73% of Americans wrongly believe that if children enter kindergarten unprepared, they will catch up in elementary school.

Jumpstart, a nonprofit focused on early literacy intervention, and the Pearson Foundation commissioned the Pearson Foundation Early Childhood Literacy poll, which was conducted by Candice Bennett and Associates. The poll explores Americans' perceptions surrounding the reading inequality gap that exists between children in low-income homes and their more affluent peers, especially overall awareness of the importance of early childhood literacy.

Other poll findings include:

* 75% of the population is completely unaware that nearly 61% of low-income families do not have any age-appropriate books in their homes.

* 63% do not know that poverty is the best predictor of whether or not a child will achieve in school.

* 53% are unaware that nearly half of children from low-income communities start 1st grade up to two years behind their peers.

Jumpstart is also releasing a separate comprehensive report, A New Look at America's Early Literacy Crisis, that compiles research from top academic experts around the country detailing the widespread early childhood literacy crisis and its impact on the nation's dropout rates, workforce competitiveness, and economy. …

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