“Too Long, Didn’t Read”: The Research behind Prescriptions for Literacy

S. Bryce Kozla


“Children need to hear a thousand stories before they learn to read.”
—Mem Fox

This quote is the basis for the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program, a reading club started by Sandy Krost at Bremen (IN) Public Library. Libraries across the nation are leaping to write grants and start programs of their own. Online discussion lists are bursting with questions about the research behind children hearing one thousand stories before kindergarten.

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Mem Fox, “Ten Read-Aloud Commandments,” accessed February 1, 2015, http://memfox.com/for-parents/for-parents-ten-read-aloud-commandments.

Anne van Kleeck, “Emergent Literacy: Learning about Print before Learning to Read,” Topics in Language Disorders 10, no. 2 (March 1990): 25–45.

Robert Slavin, “A Reader’s Guide to Scientifically Based Research,” Educational Leadership 60, no. 5 (February 2003): 12–16, ww.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/feb03/vol60/num05/A-Reader%27s-Guide-to-Scientifically-Based-Research.aspx.

Mem Fox, Reading Magic, Second Edition, Updated and Revised Edition (San Diego: Mariner Books, 2008).

Morag Maclean, Peter Bryant, and Lynette Bradley, “Rhymes, Nursery Rhymes, and Reading in Early Childhood,” Merrill-Palmer Quarterly 33, no. 3 (July 1987): 255–81, www.jstor.org/stable/23086536.

Dorothy Strickland and Judith Schickedanz, Learning about Print in Preschool: Working with Letters, Words, and Beginning Links with Phonemic Awareness, 2nd ed. (Newark, DE: International Reading Association, 2009).

Ivana Lukie et al., “The Role of Child Interests and Collaborative Parent–Child Interactions in Fostering Numeracy and Literacy Development in Canadian Homes,” Early Childhood Education Journals 42, no. 4 (July 2014): 251–59, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10643-013-0604-7.

Jessica Hoffman, Katie Paciga, and William Teale, “Common Core State Standards and Early Childhood Literacy Instruction: Confusions and Conclusions,” UIC Center for Literacy Research Report 2 (October 2014), 1–16, http://cfl.uic.edu.

Linda Baker, Peter Afflerback, and David Reinking, Developing Engaged Readers in School and Home Communities (New York: Routledge, 1995).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5860/cal13n4.33


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