Out of 50 countries and regions surveyed, Hong Kong has one of the lowest rates of family literacy in the world, with just 13% of parents engaged with their child in pre-school literacy activities (reading books, telling stories, singing songs), less than a third of the international average (37%). Hong Kong ranked lowest out of 43 regions in terms of family literacy (according to Progress in International Reading and Literacy Study 2016). Hong Kong Primary 4 students also scored very low in motivation, interest and confidence to read and learn.1
Research shows that access to quality books is fundamental to reading success and that reading aloud to children is critical for school success. If parents, caregivers and teachers understand the lasting benefits and value of reading to children from infancy and have quality literature in the home, at school and accessible from the workplace, more children will be better prepared to succeed in school and in life.
“The single most important activity for ensuring children’s reading success is reading aloud to children” 2
In July 2014, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement about the importance of daily reading to children from infancy:
“reading aloud and talking about pictures and words in age-appropriate books can strengthen language skills, literacy development and parent-child relationships” 3
“AAP says reading regularly with young children stimulates optimal patterns of brain development and strengthens parent-child relationships at a critical time in child development, which, in turn, builds language, literacy, and social-emotional skills that last a lifetime.” 4
1 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) 2016
2 Becoming a Nation of Readers: The Report of the Commission on Reading (Centre for the Study on Reading, 1985)