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Why Should Kids Read Every Day? Let's Do the Math

Student A reads 20 minutes five nights every week
Student B reads only 5 minutes a night (or not at all)
20 minutes/night x 5 times each week = 100 minutes
5 minutes/night x 5 times a week = 25 minutes

100 minutes/week x 52 weeks/year (yes, during the summer, too!) = 5,200 minutes a year
25 minutes/week x 52 weeks/year = 1,300 minutes a year

Student A practices reading the equivalent of 14 whole school days a year
Student B gets the equivalent of only 3.6 school days of reading practice

From 1st to 6th grade, if these students maintain the same reading habits:

Student A will have read the equivalent of 84 school days
Student B will have read the equivalent of only 21.6 school days

The gap of information retained between students A and B will have widened considerably and so,
undoubtedly, will school performance.

How do you think Student B will feel about him/herself as a student?
Which student will likely read better?
Which will probably have greater knowledge?
Who will develop stronger study habits?
Whom would you expect to be a better writer?
Which student will have a better vocabulary?
Whom do you think will be more successful in school?
Who will most likely be a lifelong reader?

Award-winning author Lisa Riebe, a native of Romeoville, Illinois, writes the "Pond Punkies" science fiction series for young readers: "The Arrival;" "The Unearthing;" and "The Departure." Learn more, sign up for Riebe's blog about kids and reading, and get fun stuff at

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