National Reading Day promotes a love of reading and a lifetime of learning. Encouraging a strong reading foundation is at the heart of this event, which focuses on pre-K through 3rd-grade students. At SAS, we are developing tools to help parents, teachers, and students build this foundation. Our first reading app, SAS Read Aloud, builds on the value of shared reading experiences to develop emergent reading skills--anytime, anywhere. We hope National Reading Day will endorse numerous shared readings across the country, and we look forward to thousands of foundation-building experiences delivered through Read Aloud.
Stagnant Reading Scores
Tests show that our reading scores are stagnant. The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), administered by the OECD, shows that the reading abilities of our 15-year-olds are average when compared with global competitors. The Nation's Report Card cites data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) that the nation's 4th graders have not significantly improved reading skills since 2011. However, when we look across the last two decades those scores have improved 5 points (from 217 in 1992 to 222 in 2013). These data represent a collective call to action on this question: how can we best reach early, emergent, and struggling readers?
Well, shared book reading and other literacy experiences at home has been shown to be a powerful place to start for young readers.
Since releasing Read Aloud last year, we continue to grow the library of free books: about 50 titles are available for download today. We are also working on the next release of Read Aloud, which will incorporate the helpful feedback we have received from parents, teachers, and even young readers regarding what is working and making a difference. Let us know what you think of Read Aloud and what feature you would most like to see added in a future release.
Always check our IdeaLab for what new resources we are baking. A new product in the oven right now will soon monitor reading skills in a more time-efficient manner.