Spinal Column: March is the time to instill strong reading habits, love of learning

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Sen. Mike Kowall

Sen. Mike Kowall

By Sen. Mike Kowall
15th Senate District

March is Reading Month, here in Michigan and across the nation. That means parents, children, teachers and students will celebrate reading and work together to develop strong reading habits in our children.

Reading has been shown to be vital to success in early schooling and later education. It lays the foundation for a rewarding future. Learning to read at a young age increases a student’s ability to remember facts, comprehend information and be successful in both school and a career.

Unfortunately, about one in six children who are not reading proficiently by the end of third grade do not graduate from high school on time, a rate four times greater than that for proficient readers. Encouraging students to read and teaching the basics of language is a vital step on the path to a brighter Michigan future.

In addition, reading expands the imaginations of both children and adults. It teaches us to question the status quo and envision a better life. A lifelong love of reading is essential for a balanced and successful life, and fostering this love in students at a young age leads to greater achievements at all levels of their education.

In recognition of March is Reading Month, schools, libraries and families are encouraging children to pick up a book and read.

I extend a heartfelt thank you to teachers, parents and young readers throughout Michigan for their work this month to develop better reading skills. May we all become more consistent and active readers.

This column first appeared in the Spinal Column newsweekly. Senator Mike Kowall, R-White Lake, is the Michigan Senate majority floor leader. He serves the residents of the 15th Senate District, representing western Oakland County.