Promoting literacy at a young age is vital to a child’s future success. According to the U.S. Department of Education, 54 percent of people aged 16 to 74 read below the equivalent of a sixth grade level. However, literacy is a predictor of financial stability. A study by the Barbara Bush Foundation found the average annual income of adults declines with their reading level: Those who read at a sixth grade level earn about $63,000 and those who read below a third grade level earn $34,000. To help promote literacy, here are a few fun, colorful books by Central New Jersey authors that encourage kids to shut off the television, log off the tech and pick up a book.
Speech Class Rules: An Introduction to Speech Therapy for Children, by Ronda Wojcicki
“Both language and literacy develop from infancy through school age, so it’s important to both verbally interact with and read to children from the very start,” says Wojcicki, a speech language pathologist. “Many studies have shown that early literacy results in later academic success.”
Old Farmers Road School, by Loren Spiotta-DiMare
“With ever-increasing technology, children can lose the joy and fascination of reading a good book,” says Spiotta-DiMare, an award-winning author. “There’s just nothing like holding a book in one’s hands, reading and flipping through the pages. This is especially true of children’s picture books, which have colorful illustrations and each scene is a mini cliffhanger.”
The Little Girl Who Lost Her Words, by MJ Zonfrillo
“Literacy is the foundation for all learning,” says Zonfrillo, a grandmother and first-time author. “There is not one subject or topic that doesn’t require comprehending written language. It’s literally the heart of learning.”
Marin Resnick, a journalist and doctoral candidate at Felician University, created her company, Onyx Dog Enterprise (onxydog.net) to help her dyslexic daughter love reading.