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Celebrate Adult Education and Family Literacy Week - Why is Reading so Important?


Why is Reading so Important?

3 Individual Reasons and 3 Social Reasons

Individual Reasons:

1.  Readers have enhanced smarts.

Obvious, right? Well, it turns out that reading helps in almost every area of smarts. Those that read have higher GPA’s, higher intelligence, and general knowledge than those that don’t. In Anne E. Cunningham’s paper What Reading Does for the Mind, she found that reading, in general, makes you smarter, and it keeps you sharp as you age.

No matter what you want to do or become, you can’t do it without more knowledge. Reading is an excellent way to get where you want to go.

(From Glen Stanbury’s Blog found at

2.  Readers improve the world. 

On the “The Reading Project” web site Carolyn Martin of Cornell University refers to an NEA survey and explains, “People who read for pleasure are many times more likely than those who do not to visit museums and attend concerts, and almost three times as likely to perform volunteer and charity work. Readers are active participants in the world around them, and that engagement is critical to individual and social well-being.”

3.  Readers benefit personally. 

Readers improve their self-esteem, develop self-discipline, get better jobs, improve their conversations by having something to discuss, forge social bonds (including friend-to-friend and parent-to-child), reduce boredom, relieve stress, lower anxiety, recover from trauma (bibliotherapy), and may actually raise their IQ’s.

(From Impact Publishing found at

Social Reasons:

1. Improves the Safety of Society

The other day there was a really good article about how literacy can lower the crime rate; this statistic clearly reveals how literacy can make society a safer place to live:

“Up to 80% of incarcerated individuals are functionally illiterate; studies show that if a child reads on grade level by the end of 3rd grade, there is a 99% certainty that child will never be incarcerated; school performance, more than any other single factor, is a major contributor as to whether a youth becomes involved in drugs or violence.”


2. Improves Education Success

Education success is very dependent on reading abilities. This quote from the Warren Bolton emphasizes how importantreading skills are for education success:

“Today in America, more than 11 million children 5 years old and younger are living in poverty. Millions of these children will arrive at their first day of kindergarten bright, eager and happy — but with deficits in their reading readiness that leave them underprepared to read and learn along with classmates sitting in the chairs beside them… Sadly, starting one step behind decreases the likelihood that those smiling, eager children will ever catch up. Despite the billions of dollars Americans have invested in reading recovery programs, those children are at increased risk for absenteeism, dropping out, juvenile delinquency, substance abuse and teenage pregnancy.”


3. Improves the Standard of Living

In accordance with the previous two points, literacy can help improve the standard of living, as exposed in this statistic:

Only 50% of low-income 4th graders read at or above the basic level according to the Department of Education’s 2007 Nation’s Report Card.


(3 Social Reasons from Angela Stevens’ blog found at


Posted by Lisa Robertson  on September 5, 2013


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