Many Students in the UK Do Not Own a Book

Children who start reading at a younger age tend to develop a love for reading that lasts their entire lifetime. It also helps them learn new vocabulary words and perform better in school as they get older. Reading as a child is important, and that’s why the findings of a new study in the UK are so disturbing. According to this study, almost one-third of students in the UK do not own a single book.
The National Literacy Trust conducted a survey of 18,000 children and found that 33.2 percent of these students did not own a single book. When this percent is applied to the entire population of the nation, it comes out that 3.8 million students do now have a book that they can call their own. This number has increased from 2004, when only 10 percent of students did not own a book.
Okay, so the kids don’t own their own books. They can still go to the library and check out a book to read. Shouldn’t that have the same effect on the student’s ability to read? Evidently not, according to Jonathan Douglas, a National Literacy Trust director.
“We know there is a direct correlation between book ownership and children’s reading abilities,” said Douglas. “With one in six in the UK struggling with literacy it is very worrying that many children could be missing out on opportunities to develop these essential skills.”
How much of a difference does owning their own books make for students? According to this report, 7.6 percent of students who have their own books are reading below the expected level for their age, which is significantly less than their peers who do not have their own books – 19 percent are reading below their age level. This is a pretty big gap between the two groups, so it lends quite a bit of credibility to the argument that students need to have their own books, instead of merely borrowing books from the library.
So, who are the students who are most likely to not have a book of their own? Boys are more likely than girls to not own their own books. Students who are considered to come from poverty-stricken families, as measured by their eligibility for free school meals, are also more likely to not have their own books.
Via The Huffington Post
See Also:
High School Dropout Rate Strongly Linked to Third Grade Reading Level
First Book Combats American Childhood Illiteracy