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How to combat child reading loss in a pandemic

TCAP test scores show children falling behind. Here are some ways to encourage your child to read in their free time and see results.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program scores from 2021 show that roughly 71% of kids grades 3 through 8 are below proficient reading levels. In 2018, it was around 60%.

Reading is important for a child’s development, namely their language skills.

The American Academy of Pediatrics said there are things you can do right now to help your child fall in love with reading early and ways to encourage more reading for your pre-teens and older kids.

  • Model healthy reading behavior. If kids see you reading regularly, they will be more encouraged to do it themselves!
  • Read before bedtime. This will end your child’s day on a high note by spending quality time together away from screens. This can also encourage better sleep!
  • Gift a book. Giving a book to a child on a birthday or holiday with a personal note inside gives them a book to read… and an item to cherish. Something they are likely to keep around.
  • Designate a reading area. A reading nook, corner, or room can make reading time relaxing without external stressors.
  • Get a library card. Having access to thousands of free books will encourage them to read by exploring their own interests.

It’s important to remember that any reading is good reading whether it’s comics, fiction, or a history book.

Practice makes perfect and can bring your child up to speed or help them master something they’re already good at.