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Support the Right to Read Act

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Sponsor: The Literacy Site

School libraries make a significant, positive impact on young readers. Support the Right To Read Act and ensure opportunity for all!

Sign the Petition Supporting the Right to Read Act and help ensure that every student in America has the right to read and access the resources necessary for their success.

The Right to Read Act, recently reintroduced in Congress by Senator Jack Reed1 and Representative Raúl Grijalva2, is a crucial piece of legislation that will address the literacy disparities present in the United States. This Act aims to guarantee that all students across the nation have access to a school library staffed by a certified school librarian.

Literacy is a fundamental skill that is essential for long-term opportunities and economic success. The ability to read and write fluently is a cornerstone for learning and communication, and it is vital for future success. Studies have shown that school libraries make a significant, positive impact on children by providing them with the skills and inspiration needed to become proficient and enthusiastic readers3. Access to a school library results in a 73% higher literacy rate for all students, and it is even more impactful for low-income, minority, and disabled students4.

Literacy plays a vital role in shaping personal and social development, and studies have shown that it helps individuals be more self-aware and understand the world around them better. Through reading, people can develop empathy, expand their worldview, and gain knowledge on various topics. Literacy also enables people to express themselves better and communicate effectively with others, which is critical for building healthy relationships and fostering social connections. Additionally, literacy includes critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are necessary for success in today's complex and ever-changing world5.

However, the U.S. Department of Education reports that 2.5 million students are enrolled in districts where there are no school libraries6. This means that 1 out of 10 schools in America are without a library7, and 30 percent do not have full-time school librarians. School libraries are most effective when they offer resources that resonate, engage, and empower students8. However, 37 states have enacted bans on books that disproportionately limit access to reading material that discusses issues from marginalized and minority communities9.

The Right to Read Act aims to reduce disparities in reading ability among students by providing evidence-based reading instruction, well-equipped school libraries, family literacy programs, a variety of reading materials, and the freedom to select their reading materials. The legislation also recognizes the digital literacy needs of contemporary students and strives to improve the efficiency of school libraries by investing in the recruitment and retention of state-certified school librarians10.

We cannot let another generation of students miss out on the critical benefits of literacy due to a lack of access to resources. By supporting the Right to Read Act, you can join the movement to ensure that every student in America has access to a school library and the resources necessary to succeed.

Sign the petition in support of the Right to Read Act and help close the literacy gap by giving every student the right to read!

More on this issue:

  1. Sen. Jack Reed [D-RI], 117th Congress (29 September 2022), "S.5064 - Right to Read Act of 2022."
  2. Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva [D-AZ-3] (29 September 2022), "H.R.9056 - Right to Read Act of 2022."
  3. National Association for the Education of Young Children, Reading Rockets (2023), "Learning to Read and Write: What Research Reveals."
  4. Rita Reinsel Soulen and Lara Tedrow, SAGE Journals (10 August 2021), "Students’ frequency of access to school library materials in transformative times."
  5. Christy M. Howard, Melissa Adams-Budde, Joy Myers, Grant Jollif, International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (July 2017), "Shaping our literate lives: Examining the role of literacy experiences in shaping positive literacy identities of doctoral students."
  6. U.S. Department of Education, "Access To Reading Materials."
  7. National Center for Education Statistics (2021), "Libraries."
  8. National Center for Education Statistics (2018), "Digest of Education Statistics."
  9. Kelly Jensen, Book Riot (20 April 2023), "Pen America's Latest Report: 37 States & Millions of Students Impacted by 2022-2023 School Year Book Bans So Far."
  10. Shawnda Hines, American Library Association (6 October 2022), "ALA applauds new school library legislation to widen access for students nationwide."
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The Petition:

Dear Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and Representative Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ-03),

We are writing to you in support of the Right to Read Act, which you have sponsored. We believe that this bill is crucial for the future of education in the United States and for the success of our children.

As concerned citizens, we understand that literacy is the foundation of all learning. Without it, our children cannot hope to succeed in school or in life. Unfortunately, millions of children in the United States struggle with reading and are not receiving the support they need to overcome their challenges.

The Right to Read Act is a vital step towards ensuring that every child in the United States has access to high-quality literacy instruction. This legislation would provide resources to schools and teachers to help them develop effective literacy programs and to support struggling readers. It would also ensure that students with disabilities and English language learners receive the additional support they need to succeed.

We are proud to support this bill, and we urge you to do everything in your power to help it pass. We believe that the future of our country depends on our ability to provide all children with the tools they need to succeed, and literacy is one of the most important of those tools.

We know that you share our commitment to education and to the future of our children. That is why we are confident that you will do everything in your power to support this bill and to make sure that it becomes law.

We are inspired by your leadership on this issue, and we stand with you in your efforts to make sure that every child in the United States has the right to read. Thank you for your tireless work on behalf of our children and our country.


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