According to The Nation’s Report Card, a collection of National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) data, in 2015 a little over one third of fourth and eighth grade students performed at or above proficiency in reading.
The National Center for Education Statistics shows that the average reading score of fourth and eighth graders in the state of Missouri has been the same as or higher than the national average over the last 15-20 years.
While Missouri is doing better in reading proficiency than the nation all together, it is not by much, and there are still over 64 percent of fourth and eighth graders in the U.S. reading below proficiency.
This leads to more than the risk of falling behind in school. Studies show that students scoring below proficient level in reading are four times more likely to drop out of high school.
“We all know reading is a vital skill no matter one’s content area,” shared Melia Franklin, Director of English Language Arts in the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Office of College and Career Readiness. “Academic reading is imperative to a student’s scholastic success — but we can’t forget that reading for pleasure is essential in creating lifelong readers and learners.”
The second Friday in March has been named Missouri School Read-In Day, where schools and communities are encouraged to host activities that will raise awareness of the importance of reading, and encourage greater emphasis of reading both at home and in schools.
“Missouri school read-in day recognizes that reading proficiency is a major factor in determining a child’s success in school, regardless of the socioeconomic status, race, ethnic background, or educational level of the child and the child’s family,” says the Missouri General Assembly.
William Woods education majors currently in their semester of student teaching should speak with their supervising teacher about fun and creative activities for this year’s Missouri Read-In Day.