Reading skills amongst children of Latino descent are at an all-time low. Studies indicate that U.S. Hispanic children entering kindergarten are already six months behind their fellow classmates in school readiness. Top educators believe U.S. Hispanics children would significantly benefit from programs that promote literacy readiness prior to entering into the school system.
Many U.S. Hispanic children face serious academic challenges outside of school due to various factors such as: dealing with two languages at home (Spanish and English), lower income levels and parents inability to help with school work due to language issues.
The large number of Hispanic children heading into their school years with a delayed start on their educational path is a cause for concern. Strong reading and literacy skills are essential to compete in today’s workforce. One study concluded that low literacy levels from economically disadvantaged families significantly reduce the potential for upward mobility. This is pronounced with Latino families that have a higher poverty rate in U.S. compared to national averages.
The statistics are staggering, but there are stories of hope and success. U.S. Hispanic parents are highly motivated to help their children and are looking for ways to better educate and prepare them for the highly competitive U.S. job market. First generation Hispanics are especially aware of the need for higher education and strong reading skills in English. They have every desire to support their children’s education and achieve a better lifestyle. These families clearly recognize the ability to read and write as core foundational skills for almost any career.
Hopefully, the school systems and our local communities will become more aware of this problem among Hispanic children and fund additional programs to correct this disturbing trend.