Almost half (46%) of Australians over 15 years old lack the literacy skills they need to meet the demands of everyday life and work.
75% of employers reported that their business was affected by low levels of literacy and numeracy (National Workforce Literacy Project).
Literacy, particularly reading, is an important foundation for success in school and life. An individual’s literacy affects their opportunities in life for education, employment, income and wellbeing. Lacking literacy skills holds a person back at every stage of their life. As a child they won’t be able to succeed at school. As a young adult they will not be able to access a job. As a parent they won’t be able to support their own child’s learning. People with low literacy skills may not be able to read a book or newspaper, understand road signs or price labels, make sense of a bus or train timetable, fill out a form, read instructions on medicines or use the internet.
Reading has the following benefits:
- vocabulary expansion
- comprehending text more effective for understanding
- improved memory
- stronger analytical thinking skills
- increased knowledge
- improved concentration and focus
- better writing skills
- relaxation and mindfulness
With the rise of games, apps and YouTube, fewer kids are reading in their spare time. Secondary school students, and boys in particular, are less likely to feel that reading is ‘cool’. Some boys can be embarrassed if their friends saw them reading. It is a shame considering the benefits of frequent reading from a young age.
The College recently redeveloped the Shortis Library, with the installation of a dedicated Reading Room. The boys are coming in their own time and in class to utilise the space for reading. It is important that reading is promoted and encouraged.
Students have made an enthusiastic start to the Read a Million Words House Reading Challenge, adding ‘words’ read in the holidays to the tallies. House tallies are displayed in the Shortis Library. Bonus points can be earned by writing reviews for the library catalogue and library blog. Book chats are occurring where students verify their reading and share thoughts on authors, titles and stories – this is also encouraged at home to continue the appreciation of stories and books. Congratulations to the following students who won prizes at the challenge launch:
- Zac Westwood, Year 8
- Cole Anastasiou, Year 9
- Sam Fonhof, Year 9
- Lucas D’Costa, Year 10
Parents are welcome to contact the Shortis Library for more information.
The Library and English Learning Areas are using Wider Reading sessions. In May the theme, “Mostly not squashed May – Stories make us determined”, is helping our boys share their reading experiences. Parents discussing the text and your own reading habits can benefit on your son’s reading.