Children's Literacy Skills Have Lasting Effects in Adulthood

Gaining proficiency in literacy skills positively impacts all stages of life.





Often, discussions about literacy can revolve around how to best educate children to read and write. While all young children should learn these skills, literacy also remains important long past childhood. According to the National Literacy Trust, literacy is defined as “the ability to read, write, speak and listen in a way that lets us communicate effectively and make sense of the world.” Gaining proficiency in reading and writing, as well as other vital communication skills, has positive impacts in all stages of life.


Success in school and the job market

It is important for children to develop proficient reading skills by the end of the third grade. Those who do not are four times more likely to become high school dropouts, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Early Warning Research Report. This is especially critical for children from low-income families. Students who fail to read proficiently and were “poor for at least one year” have a 26 percent failure of graduation.


Students who fail to read proficiently and were “poor for at least one year” have a 26 percent failure of graduation.

For the students who do not drop out, it can still be difficult to be successful in school. Whether science, history, or math, many subjects require reading and writing, meaning low literacy skills hinders students’ ability to learn.