# Why Our Kids Should Read at Least 20 Minutes, Five Nights a Week Throughout the Year

LET’S FIGURE IT OUT — MATHEMATICALLY

Student A reads 20 minutes, five nights of the week.
Student B reads only 5 minutes a night.
Student C might spend a minute reading, but only if he or she has to do it.

Step 1: Multiply minutes a night x 5 times each week.
Student A reads 20 min. x 5 times a week = 100 min. / week
Student B reads 5 min. x 5 times a week = 25 min. / week
Student C reads 1 min. x 5 times a week = 5 min. / week

Step 2: Multiply minutes a week x 4 weeks each month.
Student A reads 500 minutes a month.
Student B reads 100 minutes a month.
Student C reads 20 minutes a month.

Step 3: Multiply minutes a month x 9 months of the school year
Student A reads 4,500 minutes in a school year.
Student B reads 900 minutes in a school year.
Student C reads 180 minutes in a school year.

Student A spends the equivalent of 10 whole school days a year reading.
Student B spends the equivalent of only about 2 school days a year reading.
Student C spends the equivalent of less than half a school day a year reading.

Student A will have spent the equivalent of 80 whole school days reading.
Student B will have spent the equivalent of only 16 school days reading.
Student C will have spent the equivalent of only 3 school days reading.

It would make sense to expect that the student who reads the most will have been exposed to more words, which increases vocabulary, comprehension, and even background knowledge.

The better vocabulary the student has, the better writer he or she will become.

The more background knowledge a student builds, the more likely he or she will be able to make connections to new knowledge at a quicker pace and easily retain more of that new knowledge with less frustration.

Each year that passes, the learning gap widens and Student A pulls farther and farther ahead as doors of opportunity slam shut permanently for Students B and C.

Student A continues to achieve with more and more success as Students B and C find each passing year a little more frustrating as the level of instruction increases but their lack of reading skills make it more difficult for them to succeed.

And on a final note, think about that student that reads at least 20 minutes every day not only during the school year, but over the summer as well. That lucky student, by the time he or she finishes eighth grade, will have spent the equivalent of a whopping 130 school days reading! That’s 72% of an entire school year!

As a parent, you can make the difference, and it only takes one day at a time.

Have your child read at least 20 minutes every day and discuss what they’ve read with him or her.