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Report shows less than half of kids in California are being read to daily
Date:11/1/2007

birth to age 5 are read to daily, putting California 48th out of 50 states and the District of Columbia.

  • Among children in families with middle incomes, California fares better than many other states, ranking 25th in the nation.

  • Only 22 percent of California fourth graders display proficiency or better on national reading tests, putting the state 45th nationally.

"Many of the states reporting the lowest rates of reading also report lower reading proficiency rates among their fourth-graders," said Dr. Neal Halfon, professor of pediatrics, public health and public policy at UCLA and director of the Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities. "We are trying to connect the dots between the investments parents make to foster early language and literacy skills and their child's eventual academic achievement. These are important connections to make if we hope to prevent poor academic achievement and school failures that have important implications for children, their long-term earning potential and for our local economy."

UCLA's Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities understands the importance of reading aloud and has several innovative programs in place to help serve the community, especially children from low socioeconomic backgrounds and minorities.

Along with faculty from the UCLA Department of Pediatrics, the center has helped Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA to launch the Community Health and Advocacy Training Program in Pediatrics (CHAT). CHAT uniquely enhances the traditional education of young pediatricians by training pediatric residents to work with community partners at schools and clinics to emphasize the importance of school-readiness activities in the home, including reading aloud.

UCLA pediatricians and residents also partner with Reach Out and Read, a national organization that helps promote reading aloud by providing information to parents
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Contact: Amy Albin
aalbin@mednet.ucla.edu
310-794-8672
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

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