Moms Are Key to Raising Readers

TEANECK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A recent study by Kumon Math and Reading Learning Centers, conducted online by Harris Interactive, indicates that today’s mothers play a bigger role in developing their child’s reading skills than in previous generations.

Children ages eight to 18 were asked to select all of the people who helped them learn to read. 75 percent of the children surveyed chose their mother and 61 percent credited a teacher. In a similar study of 1,100 American parents with children of any age, 59 percent chose teachers while 51 percent credited their mothers.

“Today’s mothers hold the key to making reading come alive,” says Dr. Mary Mokris, an education specialist for Kumon Math and Reading Learning Centers. “Simple daily activities like reading the newspaper aloud or acting out a story during playtime can help a child develop a lifelong love and appreciation for reading.”

Children between the ages of eight and 18 identified each of the figures in their life who make them excited about reading. Of the 835 surveyed, 50 percent credited their mothers, and 40 percent said they make themselves excited about reading.

“Reading to your child at a young age is important, but it shouldn’t stop when the child begins school or starts to read independently,” says Dr. Mokris. “Reading to your children provides a model for them to copy and will help them learn to decode challenging words aloud and interpret punctuation in a passage.”

Parents are welcome to visit a Kumon Learning Center to pick up a free Recommended Reading List to find books that appeal to their child’s interest and reading ability. This list includes 350 titles, each suggested for a specific reading level. A number of books have multicultural themes. The list also highlights a section of books that are perfect for parents to read aloud with their younger children. Students can find books on anything from sports to science to adventure books.

Survey Methodology

The two surveys were conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Kumon Math and Reading Learning Centers between August 13-19, 2008 among 1,192 youth ages 8-18, and 2,424 adults aged 18 and older, of which 1,100 were parents of children of any age. For the youth survey, data for 8-17 year old results were weighted to be representative of the total U.S. 8-17 year old population on the basis of age, gender, education, parental education, race/ethnicity, region, and urbanicity. Data for 18 year old results was weighted to be representative of the total U.S. 18 year old population on the basis of age, gender, education, household income, race/ethnicity, and region. For the U.S adults aged 18 and over, data were weighted using propensity score weighting to be representative of the total U.S. adult population on the basis of region, age within gender, education, household income, race/ethnicity, and propensity to be online. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated; a full methodology is available.

About Kumon Math and Reading Learning Centers

Kumon [k-mŏn] is an after school math and reading program that helps children fulfill their potential by motivating them to achieve more on their own. Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the Kumon learning method uses a systematic and individualized approach that helps children develop a solid command of math and reading skills. Through daily practice and mastery of materials, students increase confidence, improve concentration and develop better study skills. Kumon has 26,000 learning centers in 45 countries and more than four million students studying worldwide.

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is a global leader in custom market research. With a long and rich history in multimodal research that is powered by our science and technology, we assist clients in achieving business results. Harris Interactive serves clients globally through our North American, European and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.