February 1, 2023

Reading is more than fun. It is a necessity. We need it in our daily life.
For instance, it is important to read instructions before we take or drink medicines. We must be sure the dosage is right or exact.
Reading also widens our horizons and permits us to travel the world. Articles about countries allow us to see their beautiful sceneries. It also informs us about their culture and beliefs.
Learners should learn and be proficient readers. It helps them understand their lessons in all subject areas.
It is an irony that reading difficulties among children is worsening. In school, our Philippine Informal Reading Inventory (Phil-IRI) coordinators assessed that 43 percent of students in grade 7 falls under the frustration level. They can recognize letters and words. However, their reading comprehension is poor.
The World Bank reported nine out of 10 children in the Philippines at late primary age are not proficient in reading. Moreover, Unicef estimates that as many as 70 percent of all children in low income countries cannot read a simple sentence by the age of 10.
There are researches to attest that many of the risk factors connected with low socioeconomic status hinder brain development and functioning. Moreover, generational poverty has a greater effect. There is a finding that poverty significantly affects the brain regions related to language development and reading.
Hence, the government and Department of Education is doubling their efforts to improve students’ reading skills. They see to it that every learner’s needs will be catered or addressed.
The National Reading Month and National Reading Day is scheduled every November. These aim to support the “Every Child a Reader” program.
Drop Everything and Read (DEAR) program is one of the activities for the National Reading Month. This is performed 15 to 20 minutes daily through reading books or any available reading materials. It allows all learners to select his preferred book or reading material to read.
DEAR program is a significant strategy that improves learners’ reading skills. They will learn and master how to recognize words, sentences and paragraphs. Their reading comprehension and critical thinking ability will be enhanced also. Moreover, it provides the teachers a regulated time to assess learners’ progress and target instruction.
DEAR program is also recommended to learners to conduct it at their houses. It will develop more their reading skills. They will also get rid from vices such as smoking and drinking liquors. It is better also if parents will be actively enjoined on DEAR program. They can motivate and supervise their children during the said activity.
There is really a need to give emphasis on the reading difficulties of learners. This will improve their academic performance. We must take note that without reading comprehension and excellent critical thinking ability, learners will find difficulties in their subject areas.
Dickson P. Pagente, et al. conducted a study among 142 college students and affirmed that reading frequency is a significant predictor of academic achievement. The respondents manifested positive reading attitude. As a result, their academic achievement is good.
Reading brings us essential things that make our life more meaningful and colorful. Let’s always find ways and time to drop everything and read.