International children’s publishing company Scholastic, Inc. has released the findings from its Kids & Family Reading Report, India Edition, a national survey of Indian young people from ages six- to 17-years-old and their mothers and fathers, along with the parents of kids from infancy to five. The report targeted attitudes and behaviors that surround reading for fun.
The survey found that 86% of children from six to 17 say their favorite books are the ones they pick out themselves. Also, 88% of boys and 86% of girls say they would read more if they could find more books that they like.
Most of the children, 81%, responded they enjoy reading books for fun, and over three-quarters, 77%, believe that reading books just for the fun of it is extremely or very valuable. The report discovered that 92% of the young participants read books for enjoyment a minimum of at least once a week, while only 32% said they read 5-7 days per week.
Scholastic India Managing Director Neeraj Jain said:
“The love of reading books can transform a child’s prospects for success and the findings of the Kids & Family Reading Report, India Edition underscore the importance of reading for pleasure while also providing insight into how we can encourage even more children to read more frequently. At Scholastic India, we believe in the power of choice when it comes to reading and we motivate children to read their choice of books because it helps them develop a love for reading as well as expand their knowledge and vocabulary.”
The poll questioned 1,752 parents and young people that were divided into several subgroups: 350 parents of kids from infancy-five; 701 mothers and fathers of youngsters from six-17; and a child from each household who was six- to 17-years-old.
The information contained in the Kids & Family Reading Report, India Edition, represented the English-speaking population who had access to the internet. The American editions of the survey have been conducted twice a year since 2006. There have also been versions of the study in the UK and Australia in 2015.
When it comes to encouraging children to read, parents play a big part. One of the strongest motivators for increasing the frequency of reading in young people aged six to 17 is having their parents read to them five to seven days a week. No matter the age, 85% of young ones love being read to aloud. And of the kids between the ages of six to 11 whose parents had stopped reading to them, 57% wished their parents had continued their reading times together.
Moms and dads of kids from infancy to five said the most substantial benefit they desire for their children when they read books for fun is vocabulary development and improvement in their language skills. The parents who feel this way are also the parents who begin reading aloud to their young ones to assist them in learning about words and letters.
One-half of mothers and fathers with infants to five-year-old children said they determined that reading aloud to their offspring from birth was important because of advice that had been given to them by their parents. Only 27% of parents began reading to their kids aloud before their children were one-year-old, and 60% started reading to their youngsters at two-years-old or above.
The poll also revealed that young people who are given time for independent reading at their schools are more apt to be regular readers. But only half of students from six to 17 are given the opportunity to read at their schools. And a mere 11% read a book of their choosing at school every day.
But almost 72% of students reported having positive feelings about personal reading time in their classrooms and over four in ten, 45%, stated that reading time was the best part of their school day.
Although 64% of kids six to 17 say they have read ebooks, and six in ten say they would be interested in reading an ebook, the questionnaire indicated that in spite of the popularity of ebooks over 44% who have read an ebook prefer reading books in printed form.
Scholastic India supports programs that provide book clubs and book fairs across the country. It also donates thousands of books each year to ensure that underprivileged young people can access them.