[ Reading in School

In total, the vast majority of educators (94%) agree that students should have time during the school day to read a book of their choice independently. This varies somewhat by grade level and subject taught.

While 77% of teachers set time aside for independent reading and/or read-aloud time, only 36% do this every school day. On average, students who have the opportunity to engage in independent reading and/or read-aloud time spend 22 minutes on this activity.

Frequency of independent reading is higher in elementary schools and among teachers who teach literacy/reading.

In total, 27% of teachers say more teachers in their schools are making time for independent reading, with teachers of literacy and reading being more likely to identify this increase than
other teachers.

Nearly two in three teachers (63%) wish independent reading/read-aloud time occurred more often. They identify demands of curriculum as the primary barrier to increased time spent on independent reading.

Educators cite increased skills and engagement as the main benefits of independent reading time.

Teachers who set aside time for independent reading/read-aloud time more often are more likely to spend their own money on reading materials for students/their classroom libraries.

School library needs vary by grade level.

Twenty-seven percent of schools can only add books to their libraries once a year or less often. This is much more likely to be the case in high-poverty schools.

Next: Reading and the Home-to-School Connection