Letter to the editor of the New York Times, originally published here
To the Editor:
In “How Do You Raise a Literature Lover?” (Sunday Review, Sept. 1), Pamela Paul wisely underscores parents’ critical role in helping children develop a love of reading. A mother’s role is particularly important, as her level of education is the No. 1 determinant of her children’s future academic success.
More than 36 million American adults lack the literacy skills necessary to read, write and comprehend at a basic level, never mind support their children as growing readers by sharing bedtime stories or setting an example of reading for enjoyment.
These unmet literacy needs prevent them from fulfilling their critical role as their child’s first and best teacher.
This issue affects our entire society, with multigenerational consequences. It should be on the hearts and minds of every American. We must work together to ensure that citizens of all ages have the opportunity to read, write and comprehend in order to navigate the world with dignity.