Reading to child goes a long way

An important article, written by Thomas Friedman, a columnist for the New York Times News Service, appeared in the Nov. 20, 2011, issue of The Hutchinson News. Friedman reviewed some research findings made by The Program for International Student Assessment. A portion of his article is as follows:

"The PISA study revealed that students, whose parents reported that they had read a book with their child every day, or almost every day, during the first year of primary school have markedly higher 2009 PISA scores than students whose parents reported that they had never, or almost never, read a book with their child, or had read only once or twice a month with them. On average, the score difference is 25 points ... the equivalent of well over half a school year."

Friedman continues to say, "To be sure, there is no substitute for a good teacher. There is nothing more valuable than great classroom instruction. But, let's stop putting the whole burden on teachers. We also need better parents. Better parents can make every teacher more effective."

Friedman's thoughts need special consideration. In addition to his shared information, it is even more important to begin reading to a child throughout babyhood. Important, also, is the realization that a parent who consistently reads to a child is likely to participate in other profitable learning activities providing the child with a quality learning foundation as they enter the classroom and move forward in the learning process. As students grow older, reading to them may cease but, for success, a keen parental interest in the learning activities of the day must continue.

CHARLES O. STONES,

Garden City