Reading to your kids could result in a lifetime earnings increase of R2m

accreditation
Find free stories for children in Parent24’s Storytime Hub
Find free stories for children in Parent24’s Storytime Hub

Recent stats have revealed that 78% of South African nine-year-olds are unable to read for meaning in any language.

It is feared that as adults these children will be less equipped to engage with and contribute towards the economy, business, media, politics, and more. 


Must read: 50% of children have never read a book with their parents – here's why we need to encourage reading early on

According to Somikazi Deyi, a Department of African Languages lecturer at the University of Cape Town’s School of Languages and Literatures, “Early language development is rooted in the interactions children have with their parents, caregivers and peers.”

Reading results in improved outcomes for children

In an article shared by local national reading-for-enjoyment campaign Nal'ibali she shares that a “significant body of research” proves that reading for pleasure leads to improved outcomes for children.

We know that reading to kids results in numerous benefits to both the reader and the children, but did you know that research has proven that there is in fact an actual financial benefit too?

It might take longer to pay off than some of the more immediate benefits like better communication and basic speech skills, enhanced concentration and discipline and a stronger parent and child bond, but the benefit of higher academic performance will pay out in the long run.

Increase in lifetime earnings of over R2 million

Lynn Fielding, US author of The 90% Reading Goal, details how 20 minutes of reading a day can lead to an increase in the chances a child stays in school, does well and goes on to have a secure job.


Must read: Top 10 books every child should own

Research done in the UK supports this finding. A study called The Value of Basic Skills in the British Labour Market showed that higher literacy at school is associated with having 15% higher earnings.

According to salaryexplorer.com, the average salary in South Africa is R28 900. Let’s say your child has a career that lasts 40 years – that’s an increase in lifetime earnings of R2 016 000.

Over two million rand for 20 minutes of reading per day?

Count me in!

Parents, teachers and caregivers can encourage and support a love of reading in children by taking them to libraries, joining reading programs and reading to them, as well as retelling stories and discussing or acting out the stories.

Local organisations such as Nal'ibali, Shine Literacy, FunDza Literacy Trust and BookDash are working hard to provide children with books and programmes to instill a love of reading from an early age.

Learn more about these organisations, and find free stories for children too, in Parent24’s Storytime Hub.

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss

 Share your experience of reading to kids with us, and we could publish your story. Anonymous contributions are always welcome.

Sign up for Parent24's newsletters.

Read more:

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Eskom has considered continuous load shedding at Stage 2, instead of introducing it when the power system faces a crunch. What are your thoughts?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
I'm all for it - we're going to have power cuts regardless, so we might as well have some stability to better plan our lives
45% - 4175 votes
No thanks! I prefer having periods of no load shedding and we cannot normalise this crisis
55% - 5047 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
17.93
-1.8%
Rand - Pound
19.45
-0.0%
Rand - Euro
17.37
-0.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.70
-0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.0%
Gold
1,643.66
0.0%
Silver
18.87
0.0%
Palladium
2,073.00
0.0%
Platinum
858.50
0.0%
Brent Crude
86.15
-5.0%
Top 40
57,110
-3.1%
All Share
63,417
-2.9%
Resource 10
56,319
-7.5%
Industrial 25
78,436
-1.2%
Financial 15
14,142
-1.6%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE