About KFRR

History

The Kids & Family Reading Report is a national survey of children ages 6–17 and their parents exploring attitudes and behaviors around books and reading. It is a biannual report with six editions surveying respondents in the United States.

In 2015, the first international report was unveiled in the United Kingdom, followed in 2016 by India and Australia.

STUDY METHODOLOGY

  • The study was managed by YouGov and was fielded between September 19, 2016 and October 10, 2016. The total sample size of 2,718 parents and children includes:
    • 632 parents with children ages 0–5,
    • 1,043 parents with children ages 6–17, plus one child ages 6–17 from the same household.
  • Parents of children ages 6–17 completed their survey questions first before passing the survey on to one randomly selected child in the target age range. The survey sample was sourced and recruited by GfK using their nationally representative KnowledgePanel®, a probability-based panel designed to be representative of the U.S. population. Initially, participants are chosen scientifically by a random selection of telephone numbers and residential addresses. Persons in selected households are then invited by telephone or by mail to participate in the web-enabled KnowledgePanel®. For those who agree to participate, but do not already have Internet access, GfK provides at no cost a laptop and ISP connection. People who already have computers and Internet service are permitted to participate using their own equipment. Panelists then receive unique log-in information for accessing surveys online, and then are sent emails throughout each month inviting them to participate in research.
  • To further ensure proper demographic representation within the sample, final data were weighted according to the following benchmark distributions of children ages 0–17 from the most recent (March 2013) Current Population Survey (CPS) from the U.S. Census Bureau:
    • Child gender within each of six age groups (0–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–11, 12–14, 15–17), region, household income, and child race/ethnicity.

ADDITIONAL METHODOLOGY

  • Some survey language was modified in age-appropriate ways to ensure comprehension among children ages 6–8.
  • Children ages 6–11 were not asked some survey questions that involved more sophisticated thinking than is reasonable to ask 6–11 year-olds.
  • Parents were invited to help young children read the survey but they were asked to allow children to independently answer all questions. At the end of the survey, children were asked to record the degree to which a parent helped them with the survey. Consistent with prior research, an analysis comparing the responses of children with and without parental involvement showed no significant differences.
  • Virtually all (98%) of the adults interviewed were the parent or stepparent of the child surveyed. Therefore, throughout this report, we refer to adult respondents as “parents.”
  • Data may not sum to 100% due to rounding.

Scholastic Inc.

We are the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books and a leader in educational technology and related services and children's media. Scholastic creates quality books and ebooks, print and technology-based learning materials and programs, magazines, multi-media and other products that help children learn both at school and at home. The Company distributes its products and services worldwide through a variety of channels, including school-based book clubs and book fairs, retail stores, schools, libraries, on-air, and online.

YouGov

YouGov is a pioneer in online research with offices throughout the United States, the UK, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. YouGov’s custom research specialists conduct a full spectrum of quantitative and qualitative research providing comprehensive market intelligence to the world’s leading businesses and institutions. YouGov was recently named one of the world’s top 25 research companies by the respected American Marketing Association Top 25 Report and has a proven, published record of uniquely accurate data and actionable insights informing political, cultural and commercial organizations around the globe.

A Letter from the CEO of Scholastic

Dick Robinson is the CEO, President, and Chairman of Scholastic Inc.

It has been 10 years since we first released the Kids & Family Reading Report, Scholastic’s biannual study of children’s and parents’ attitudes and behaviors around reading. In the decade since, much has changed in the research on reading aloud starting at birth, discussions around access to books and diversity in children’s books, and efforts to promote summer reading. Yet despite knowing that all families want their children to succeed, not all realize that books and reading both improve children’s academic skills and critical thinking abilities, as well as help children develop empathy and compassion.

To continue to drive conversations about kids’ reading and the power of books, we are pleased to share with you the findings from the Kids & Family Reading Report: 6th Edition. This research provides both reasons to celebrate as well as a strong motivation to continue working to ensure that all children are able to read the books they love every day.

Among the most positive findings we see the impact of the recent movement to encourage families to begin reading aloud to their children at birth and to keep going as their children get older. Previously, we found 30% of parents with children ages 0–5 reported reading to their child before three months old. Today, 40% of parents do. The percentage of families reading aloud to young children 5–7 days a week has also increased among families with kids ages 3–5 (55% to 62%), yet we still find many parents read less often to children older than 5, with another steep drop-off occurring at age 8.

While starting to read aloud early matters, we know that having books at home also makes a difference in kids’ reading lives. The report verifies that the homes of frequent readers have far more children’s books than the homes of infrequent readers, and a similar disparity exists in low-income homes and the homes of African-American and Hispanic families. This is a strong call to action to ensure we are all working hard to get books into the hands of every child.

We also wanted to better understand what diversity in children’s books means to parents, as well as what types of characters kids and parents look for in kids’ books. Parents shared with us that when they consider the meaning of diversity in books for children and teens, they believe these books include “people and experiences different than those of my child” (73%), “various cultures, customs or religions” (68%), “differently-abled people” (51%), “people of color” (47%), and “LGBTQ people” (21%). We also found about one in 10 kids look for characters who are differently-abled (13%), are culturally or ethnically diverse (11%), and who break stereotypes (11%). Hispanic and African-American families express more interest in diverse books than non-Hispanic and non-African-American families.

Many of us working in schools and education are aware of the academic skills lost over the summer when children are out of school, but in this edition of the Kids & Family Reading Report we found that only 48% of parents have heard of the summer slide, a percentage that decreases to 38% among lower-income families. Even as kids tell us that, contrary to popular belief, they enjoy summer reading and believe it is important, they need more support and access to books. On average, one in five 12–17 year-olds and one in five kids in lower-income families do not read any books at all over the summer.

While the report reveals that many kids continue to have trouble finding books they like, parents underestimate this challenge. Only 29% of parents agree “my child has trouble finding books he/she likes,” whereas 41% of kids agree—57% among infrequent readers vs. 26% of frequent readers. Fortunately, the data in the report can offer guidance on where kids and families get great ideas about books to read for fun.

Literacy empowers children to explore, communicate, debate and think critically. The ability to read widely with curiosity and joy prepares children to become adults who are fully engaged with their world. The Kids & Family Reading Report helps us understand how we as adults can support children as they first learn to read, and then love to read. We hope you will find this information valuable. We invite you to join us in our mission to “Open a World of Possible” for every child by sharing the data widely. Let us all be advocates for ensuring that children everywhere have access to the quality books that build a lifetime love of reading and learning.


Sincerely,

Richard Robinson
CEO, President, and Chairman of Scholastic Inc.