Child-Teen Reading

Image credit: Common Sense Media

Just in time for summer reading programs, Common Sense Media recently released a new report—along with a handy infographic—summarizing several decades of research on the reading behaviors of children and teens. It examines four main areas: time spent and frequency of reading, reading proficiency/achievement, prevalence of e-reading, and attitudes toward e-reading.

Since 1971, reading achievement scores have gone up for younger children but stayed about the same for older teens. Reading proficiency levels are also still stubbornly different among white (46% proficient), black (18%), and Hispanic/Latino (20%) children. Girls read 10 minutes more than boys, on average, and they read more frequently, with 30% of girls reading daily and just 18% of boys. Younger children read or are read to between 30 minutes to an hour a day, on average.

E-reading is still a mixed bag for parents, with about a third of parents with e-readers saying their kids don’t use the device(s) largely because of concern about screen time or a preference for print. Children continue to spend more time with print books than e-books, and about half (46%) of older kids have read an e-book.

The entire report is well worth diving into, especially for librarians who play such pivotal roles in keeping reading fun for kids and teens. Check out the full report here. And don’t miss the State Library’s extensive resource page on the Colorado Statewide Summer Reading Program.

 Note: This post is part of our series, “The Weekly Number.” In this series, we highlight statistics that help tell the story of the 21st-century library.