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## Why Can't I Skip My Reading Tonight?

Student A reads 20 minutes every night.

Student B reads only 4 minutes a night. . . or not at all!

Multiply minutes a night X 5 times a week.

Student A 20 minutes X 5 = 100 minutes.

Student B 4 minutes X 5 = 20 minutes.

Multiply minutes a week X 4 weeks a month.

Student A reads 400 minutes a month.

Student B reads 80 minutes a month.

Multiply minutes a month X 9 months.

Student A reads 3600 minutes in a school year.

Student B reads 728 minutes in a school year.

Student A reads the equivalent of ten whole school days a year.

Student B reads the equivalent of only two whole school days a year.

By the end of 6th grade Student A and Student B maintain these same reading habits  . . . .

Student A will have read the equivalent of 60 whole school days and Student B will have read the equivalent of only 12 school days.  One would expect the gap of information retained will have widened considerably so, undoubtedly, will school performance.  How do you think Student B will feel about him/herself as a student?

Which student would know more?

Which student would write better?

Which student would have a better vocabulary?

Which student would be more successful in school and life?

If daily reading begins in infancy, by the time the child is five years old, he or she has been fed roughly 900 hours of brain food! Reduce that experience to just 30 minutes a week and the child's hungry mind loses 770 hours of nursery rhymes, fairy tales, and stories.

A kindergarten student who has not been read aloud to could enter school with less than 60 hours of literacy nutrition.

**No teacher, no matter how talented, can make up for those lost hours of mental nourishment.**

Therefore...

30 minutes daily: 900 hours

30 minutes weekly: 130 hours

Less than 30 minutes weekly: 60 hours

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Source: US Department of Education, America Reads Challenge(1999)"Start Early, Finish Strong:How to Help Every Child Become a Reader." Washington, D.C.