Sent to the New York Times, November 6, 2011
We complain about stagnant reading achievement in the US (the recent NAEP scores), but fail to do the obvious: Support libraries.
Across the US, states are cutting library funding, even though research consistently shows that increased access to books results more reading and more reading results in better reading, writing, vocabulary and spelling. Studies also confirm that better libraries mean higher reading scores.
Room to Read has opened 12,000 libraries and provided children with 10 million books in Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, India, Nepal, and several other countries (“His libraries, 12,000 so far, change lives,” November 5, 2011).
How about California, Oklahoma, etc? For a fraction of what we are eager to spend on new standards and tests, we can make sure that every American child has access to high quality reading material.
University of Southern California
Room to Read article: