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Make reading fun again, NRC urges

Publish 20 March 2017

By Kristin Rushowy, Education Reporter | The Toronto Star

Declining math scores may be on educators’ minds right now, but reading is still considered key to student achievement in all subjects.

Now, a cross-Canada coalition is trying to promote a love of books, worried about the growing number of students who say they don’t like to read for pleasure.

“There’s been a recent trend toward STEM programs (science/technology/engineering/math), and from our perspective … if you can’t read well, you are not doing well in math or science,” said Mohamed Huque, associate director of the National Reading Campaign, a not-for-profit that is urging governments and school boards to make the issue a priority.

“The positive effect of reading transcends marks for English or language arts; it really does translate beyond academic achievement. There are tons of studies showing the positive effects of reading on mental health (and) building empathy,” among other benefits, he added.

At a symposium earlier this year, the campaign crafted a statement saying it’s time for “ministries of education, school boards and principals (to) … adopt policies that make reading for pleasure possible, and that they should be accountable for reporting on the provision of such programs.”

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Make reading fun again, NRC urges