February 26, 2021

On today's show, Adrian and Ethan discuss the importance of teaching our kids to love reading.

In the words of Dr. Seuss, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

March 2 is Read Across America, an annual reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2, the birthday of beloved children's author Dr. Seuss. In cities and towns across the nation, teachers, teenagers, librarians, politicians, actors, athletes, parents, grandparents, and others develop NEA's Read Across America activities to bring reading excitement to children of all ages.

Literacy is one of the best predictors of a child's future success. 1 in 4 children in America grow up without learning how to read.

Children who cannot read do not receive the education that they need. They cannot read their textbooks, and they may not be able to comprehend their homework and tests. Many kids with no literacy or poor literacy do not graduate from high school. Being able to read and comprehend is crucial.

Every year, over 1.2 million students drop out of high school in the United States alone. That’s a student every 26 seconds – or 7,000 a day.

Teens who drop out of school often find themselves at a significant disadvantage.Someone who does not graduate from high school has limited job options. Many of the options that are available are not enough support an adult or a family. This can condemn illiterate people to a life of poverty and financial difficulties. Nearly 85% of the juveniles who face trial in the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate.

We can always count on kids to see the issues and set out to make a difference. This ties in nicely to this week’s discussion…

14-Year-Old Anoushka Talwar, Born a Preemie Herself, Sets Up Mini-Libraries in Neonatal Wards So Parents Can Read to their Premature Babies

Anoushka Talwar was born early, entering the world at 27 weeks and weighing just 2.2 pounds. Now a Girl Scout, the Georgia teen remembers the early stories about her and her brother, who was also a preemie.

“My dad used to tell me how he would read to me and my brother at the hospital every single day and how it was beneficial to a child’s brain and how it was a good way to bond with a child through an incubator.”

Now, through a new project, she wants to give other premature babies every chance to overcome their early challenges. Anoushka went door-to-door in her Atlanta neighborhood, asking for donations of children’s books for the NICUs of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory Johns Creek Hospital. Her goal was to make sure these hospitals had children’s books available for parents like hers who wanted to read to their children.

This allowed her to create two mini-libraries at the hospitals, and also earned her a Silver Award, the second-highest honor in the Girl Scouts.