Empowered by Reading: The Benefits of Giving Youth Access to a Wide Variety of Reading Materials

Sep 19, 2022
  • Description

Examining research conducted by experts in literacy, education, child development,  and related fields, this paper underscores the benefits of providing children and youth with a wide variety of developmentally-appropriate reading materials, such as improvements in critical thinking skills and reading comprehension, as well as enhanced understanding and empathy. Key Findings include:

  • Providing children and youth with access to a wide variety of reading materials in which they can both see themselves and experience the lives of others benefits the individual reader as well as the community.
  • Books that engage readers with relevant and authentic stories encourage deeper and more prolific reading which, in turn, improve students' academic achievement, wellbeing, and future opportunities.
  • Books on controversial and challenging topics create bridges for difficult conversations with parents and other trusted adults and help youth critically navigate their world.