February 17, 2023

On today's show, Adrian and Ethan talk about the link between poverty and literacy.

Education is a primary means of social mobility, that allows those born into poverty to rise in society and break the cycle.

There is increasing evidence that a child's early years are critical for determining later academic success. Poor kids are falling far behind. Some children are at increased risk for reading difficulties. The more risk factors a child has, the more likely it is that he or she will encounter reading problems.

For years, the percentage of the nation’s fourth graders in public school who can read proficiently has hovered at around 35 percent. For students experiencing poverty, the situation is even more dire: 82 percent of students eligible for free or reduced lunches are not reading at or above proficient levels by fourth grade.

Nationally more than 8.7 million low-income students in kindergarten through fifth grade are not proficient in reading.

Research shows that reading aloud is the single most important thing you can do to help a child prepare for reading and learning.