Could e-books be the Solution to our Growing Literacy Problems?

Hello Everyone, I hope all is well with you today! I’m back with another topic that’s near and dear to my heart and that is the literacy problems that we have in the US today.

According to an article in USA Today a federal study has found that an estimated thirty two million adults are saddled with such low literacy skills that it would be tough for them to read anything more challenging than a children’s picture book or to understand a medication’s side effects listed on a pill bottle.  For more information from this article click here: http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/education/2009-01-08-adult-literacy_N.htm

I find this alarming, don’t you?  The statistics for our youth are just as bad. According to RIF.org http://www.rif.org/us/about/literacy-issues.htm  nearly forty percent of US fourth graders do not achieve basic levels of reading proficiency. The number is higher among low income families, certain minority groups, and English language learners.

So, how can we turn this around?  That is a very good question and as I ponder it the memory of a conversation with my second grader comes to mind. We were getting ready to do his reading homework and he was grumbling that he really didn’t want to do it.  Feeling frustrated, I started to argue with him and then I stopped and asked him, “Why don’t you want to read tonight?”

He looked at me and said, “Because these books are boring.”

“Well…did you tell your teacher that?”

He shook his head. “No…she would get upset.”

I just stumbled upon part of the problem. Some of these books that schools are requiring students to read just don’t interest them. And with no interest in the subject reading becomes a “pain” to do and the young student’s motivation turns to dread. With all the millions of books in the world I’m sure we could find topics that would be interesting to our young readers.  Why can’t we offer them choices? I feel that offering our little chickadees a choice and letting them pick a topic they like would be a step in the right direction. It would solve the motivation issues that seem to be a problem with our reluctant readers.

As I pondered this I thought, what if all of the students were given e-readers? Look at all the books available today that are in e-book format. I’m sure we could find something to please even the pickiest reader. I know what you’re thinking…that’s kind of unrealistic.  Or is it?

When you think about it…look at the cost of a paperback versus the cost of an e-book. I mean educators will be making up the difference in cost relatively quickly.

And while we’re at it…why don’t we put text books in e-book format? Can you imagine the savings for educators in that arena? With our educators trying to cut costs I think that e-readers represent a viable solution.

Did you know that Scholastic has an e-reader right now? It’s called Storia and parents can get most of the books available from Scholastic in e-book format.

I see E-books as the wave of the future and if our schools hop on board maybe we can turn this literacy problem around. Kids could literally carry a library around with them. What do you think? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you! 🙂

I’d like to thank USA Today and RIF.org for some of the information in this post. 🙂

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About Lisa Orchard

I'm a Young Adult Author with two new series, "The Starlight Chronicles" and "The Super Spies." The first one's a coming of age series and the second one's a mystery/thriller series. I'm also the mother of two boys who keep me hopping and they're my inspiration for everything. When I'm not shuttling my boys to school or a play date, I'm writing. When I'm not writing, I'm reading, hiking, or sometimes running. I love anything chocolate and scary movies too.
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3 Responses to Could e-books be the Solution to our Growing Literacy Problems?

  1. sharonledwith says:

    Love this post, Lisa! Wouldn’t it be nice one day to see a screen on every child’s desk? Books at their finger tips! Now that’s thinking outside the box! Cheers!

  2. Pingback: Best of Summer 2013 Kid Lit Giveaway Hop! | lisaorchard

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