November is Family Literacy Month and this year it may be more important than ever.
The COVID-19 pandemic may be negatively impacting the reading skills of children, especially young readers at a critical time: kindergarten through second grade.
Experts say reading to and with your children is crucial.
"This helps build habits and routines that enhance children's ability to read, as well as supports their literacy development," explains Mary Wilson of the Center for Literacy.
A 2017 study found less than 40 percent of 4th graders were reading at a "proficient level" and the pandemic is threatening to further lower that rate.
Researchers at Haskins Laboratories are studying the "coronavirus slide."
It's similar to the "summer slide" when the reading skills of young students regress due to time away from the classroom.
"The expectation is really for a potentially devastating impact on kids," says Dr. Kenneth Pugh, Haskins' president and director.
They're also testing remote reading games to see if they can offset losses.
Haskins Laboratories is still enrolling kids in the study.
They're also offering those remote learning tools to anyone in the U.S. for free. You don't have to be a part of the study to receive them.
Click here for more information.