Literacy is the foundation of overall educational success. Reading skills are the gateway to success in every classroom subject. The need to read is not limited to English Language Arts classes; literacy skills are essential in math, history and all other content areas. Beyond the classroom, literacy is an essential daily life skill. Not being able to read has a profound effect on our self-esteem, social-emotional skills and imagination.

The significance of this cannot be overstated, which is why we once again point to the results of the most recent NAEP Report Card: only 35% of students read proficiently by grade 4, and reading assessment scores are the lowest they’ve been in decades.

Literacy skills, including listening, speaking, reading and writing, can be difficult to support because students can fall on such a broad spectrum. Students enter school at varying levels of preparedness for reading and usually spend the first few years of school learning to read. If reading skills aren’t developed by around fourth grade, when education begins to focus on more complex and higher-order thinking skills, studies have shown that students rarely catch up with their peers to become fluent readers.

As children age and learning shifts from learning to read to reading to learn, support can mean the difference between learning from reading or suffering sustained academic failure. To empower students to not only be able to read but also to want to read, a holistic approach — offering intensive care for the most at-risk students and specialized attention for those with moderate literacy needs — is key.

Composed of high-quality, human-read audiobooks and a suite of teacher resources to monitor and support student progress, the Learning Ally Audiobook Solution is designed to turn struggling readers into engaged learners. With a library of more than 80,000 culturally relevant, curriculum-aligned audiobooks, our Audiobook Solution has all the books students need to read as well as the ones they will want to read for fun.

Plenty of academic research on the efficacy of audiobook support for literacy skills exists; audiobooks have long been considered an alternative way to access content, particularly for readers with physical and cognitive difficulties, but have the potential to support every reader in their reading journey.

Read the full article about literacy by Jeremy Joblon at EdSurge.