A study carried out by the National Literacy Trust, in the UK, has found that children are six times more likely to read above the expected for their age if they own their own books. However, the study also found that over 380,000 youngsters in the UK do not own books, something that can have a serious effect on their literacy skills, as well as their overall wellbeing.
As The Guardian reports, the survey studied more than 56,000 children across the UK and found that 22 percent of children who own books read above the expected average, compared to the 3.6 percent of children who don’t own a book at all.
56.2 percent of children who own books reported enjoying reading, whereas 18.4 percent of children (less than a fifth) who don’t, according to the survey which studied kids aged nine to 18. This study has been published following the closure of many libraries across the UK due to budget cuts.
British Prime Minister,. Boris Johnson, stated that he wats to invest more in libraries, but said he can only do so once the economy is “really motoring”. The study also found interesting correlations regarding the economic backgrounds of the children studied. Those who were eligible for free school lunches were less likely to own a book, when compared to those from more well-off families.
Chief executive of the National Literacy Trust, Jonathan Douglas, said: “Books have the power to transform children’s reading skills, enjoyment and mental wellbeing.
“Yet far too many children are missing out on the chance to reach their full potential simply because they don’t have a book of their own at home.”
6.3 percent of the children studied said they have no books at home, which estimates to around 383,774 children across the UK. Mr Douglas added: “We have taken huge strides to get books into the hands of children who need them most, but we must continue to strive to close the gap once and for all.”