A child turning nine is entering a critical year in their academic journey.
Research shows that a child’s reading proficiency by third grade is a clear predictor of academic success.
Local educators say if a child is taught a love for reading early on, it will enhance both their professional and personal lives.
Children who struggle and fall behind by the time they are in second or third grade begin to lose interest and may have a hard time catching up.
“We have got to educate families that those little brains are working from the day that they are born. Those synapses are working and firing and shooting off and if they get to an age where they haven’t had those experiences, those synapses close out and to try to get them reactivated, is so much more exponentially difficult,” said Monique Segura, Oructt Educators Association President and teacher at Alice Shaw Elementary.
Segura says, when kids get to older grades and see their peers at a higher skill level, they tend to have low self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy, which can be manifested as discipline issues.
“Students who are not able to read by the age of 9, the odds of gaining those skills go down significantly every year. And the odds of them ending up homeless, in prison, in a precarious position, not able to graduate from junior high, high school - those odds go up,” said Segura.
She adds, that if you give children the tools and encouragement during their formative years, they will have a higher chance at success.
You can help put books in the hands of local children in need by donating to KSBY's second "If You Give a Child a Book" campaign. Click here to learn more and make a donation.