Literacy unlocks the door to learning throughout life, is essential to development and health, and opens the way for democratic participation and active citizenship.
Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations
With the proyects One book at a time we help children from families with scarce resources that cannot afford the luxury of buying books for their children to read at home. Furthermore, the census in South Africa reveals that half of the pupils that start primary school drop out before they complete their studies and only 14% of the students in 9th grade know how to read and write properly.
In One at a time projects we believe in the power of books, of good books, to promote literacy and develop the imagination. Books are also a constant source of inspiration and motivation to learn and keep studying.
On the other hand, reading helps to reduce inequality. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reports that reading enjoyment is more important for children’s educational success than their family’s socio-economic status .
Again, reading is a way to reduce academic differences among races as avid readers of all backgrounds are higher achievers than students who seldom read; indeed, the achievement gap between white students and students of color disappears when both read widely and passionately.
Both the PIRLS report of 2006 and the PISA study of 2009 confirm that regularly reading stories or novels outside of school is associated with higher scores in reading assessments.
Other studies report that reading is one of the most important personal habits that lead to a successful academic career and a happy, productive life, and highlight other benefits to reading for pleasure llike text comprehension and grammar, positive reading attitudes, pleasure in reading in later life and increased general knowledge.
For all these reasons we believe that books are ideal to encourage this children to keep studying to build a better future.
Bayless, C. 2010. Growing a reading culture: Just for parents. http://www.slideshare. net/ThroughtheMagicDoor/growing-a-reading-culture-1647123.
Clark, C., and Rumbold, K. (2006). Reading for Pleasure a research overview. The National Literacy Trust.
Clark, C., and Douglas, J. (2011) Young People’s Reading and Writing An in- depth study focusing on enjoyment, behaviour, attitudes and attainment National Literacy Trust
OECD (2002) Reading For Change Performance And Engagement Across Countries – Results From PISA 2000.
OECD (2010) PISA 2009 Results: Executive Summary
PIRLS (2006) Ina V.S. Mullis, Michael O. Martin, Ann M. Kennedy, and Pierre Atwell, N. 2007. The reading zone: How to help kids become skilled, passionate, habitual, critical readers. New York: Scholastic.
Robinson, R. 2010. Read every day. Lead a better life. Speech presented at the International Reading Association convention, Chicago.
Swan, E., C. Coddington, and J. Guthrie. 2010. Engaged silent reading. In Revisiting silent reading: New directions for teachers and researchers, ed. E. Hiebert and R. Reutzel. Newark, DE: International Reading Association, 101.