The Importance of Literacy After the Pandemic
During the pandemic, children spent many months at home, which led to many of them struggling to meet reading benchmarks, especially those with disabilities, those who aren’t fluent in English, and those from low-income families. Over the past two years, studies have shown a significant decrease in children’s literacy. However, much has been done to reverse this issue since schools have started to reopen. Ensuring the continual importance placed on student literacy is something everyone must contribute to in order for them to thrive in school and beyond.
Why is Literacy Important?
Our ability to read and write is crucial, and for children who are just starting to learn, it is even more essential as they begin to engage with the written word in their daily lives. Literacy transforms students into socially engaged individuals. This means they are able to stay informed with current events, learn about various subjects and information at school, and communicate effectively with others
How Teachers Combat the Issue
In schools everywhere, teachers are optimistic. They have started with the basics and gradually moved to more challenging tasks to ensure growth in learning—sounding out letters, learning difficult words, and going through several exercises to practice writing words and forming sentences.
Tutoring has also helped immensely, especially for those students who struggle more than others in forming phonetic skills or shifting from reading sentences to reading books. Tackling challenges together and reading as a class has been seen to not only improve students’ literacy skills but also promote inclusivity and respect in a judgment-free environment.
How You Can Support Literacy Development
Now more than ever is the time to boost the importance of literacy. Encourage reading at home and discuss the material with your child. Actively talking about what they learned enables them to make connections and think deeply about the text.
This also includes other subjects, not just reading and grammar. Now that schools have reopened, discussing what your child learned in class is also incredibly beneficial to their literacy development. What new information did they learn in their other classes? What was and wasn’t understood? If they are struggling with a particular subject, try to help them navigate the challenges associated with it together or consider tutoring, as mentioned in the previous section. Someone who specializes in history or science, for example, will be able to help your child overcome any hurdles they face during the learning process.
We are all getting back on our feet after the pandemic, and students need all the support and encouragement they can get, especially our young learners. Consistent practice is key when it comes to learning, so continuing these efforts from students’ families, mentors, and teachers establishes a deep value in literacy after conquering their challenges. We can do it together, one step at a time.