Dear parents, teachers and educators,
For 20 years, the Los Angeles Times has been your partner in education. Reading by 9 represents our commitment toward developing literacy skills for children throughout Southern California. The program continues to be an important tool for helping children learn to read.
According to the 2017 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, nearly half of the third grade students in the LAUSD did not meet the English language arts and literacy standards needed to succeed in school. Too many children lack the critical skills needed to engage with reading.
The third grade is a significant milestone for evaluating children’s reading proficiency. Research shows that children who are able to read by the end of the third grade are more likely to graduate from high school. Reading opens doors to academic fulfillment, career readiness, and opportunities throughout a child’s lifetime. But the benefits go beyond these practicalities.
Reading allows children to explore their worlds through the magic of stories. In the pages of a book, they discover curiosity and empathy. They learn to see the world not just through their eyes but through the eyes of others. In a city as diverse as Los Angeles and an environment as global and interconnected as our world, this is an invaluable skill.
The Reading by 9 annual publication How to Raise a Reader was developed in partnership with Common Sense Media, an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering children in a world of media and technology. Available in English and Spanish, the guide is free and has tips and ideas for incorporating reading into a child’s daily life. Its recommendations — books and audiobooks, local literacy resources, and more — highlight a wide array of perspectives, cultures, and experiences in which all children can see themselves reflected or can find a window into someone else’s story.
The guide is distributed to parents, teachers, and educators throughout California with the help of community-based organizations and schools.
We hope that the guide will serve as a valuable resource and help prepare children for a brighter future.
Thank you for reading,
Vice President of Public Affairs
Los Angeles Times