Study: Boys Still Trail Girls in Reading

Carol’s summary:

Girls in the U.S. have closed the achievement gap in math, but boys still lag behind in reading at all grade levels k-12, according to a new study by the Center on Education Policy. Among 4th graders, girls performed better than boys at every achievement level in every state. In many states, the learning gap exceeded 10 percent. The challenge is how to get and keep boys interested in reading. In their book, Reading Don’t Fix No Chevys, authors Michael W. Smith and Jeffrey D. Wilhelm, offer these suggestions for teachers:

• Understanding boys and their interests should influence text selection and curriculum development.
• A literacy program should encourage and support self-selected reading in addition to teacher-assigned reading.
• Helping boys make connections with text through activities such as front-loading, drama, inquiry, and small group discussions can support their reading comprehension and analysis skills.

Regardless of a student’s gender, the importance of literacy skills filters into all areas of school, and when students can’t read well they typically can’t write well either. To promote literacy skills, schools and libraries across the country offer summer academies and required summer reading programs, and LifeBound books are used in these programs at the elementary, middle school and high school levels. Research shows that the more relevant reading materials are to students, the more engaged they are to learn and cultivate a lifelong love for reading. Here is a list of our books that give students a leg up on reading within the context of their particular grade level:

5th Grade:
SUCCESS IN MIDDLE SCHOOL: A Transition Road Map, designed for the 5th to 6th grade transition.

6th grade:
PEOPLE SMARTS FOR TEENAGERS: Becoming Emotionally Intelligent, gives students strategies for managing strong emotions and social skills.

7th Grade:
GIFTS & TALENTS FOR TEENAGERS: Discovering Your Unique Strengths, helps students identify what makes them unique and to see what’s possible for their future.

8th Grade:
MAKING THE MOST OF HIGH SCHOOL: Success Secrets for Freshmen, second edition, helps students prepare to make a smooth transition into 8th grade; the text prompts student to create an 8-year academic plan, and includes financial literacy exercises and ACT/SAT vocabulary builders and math boosters.

9th Grade:
STUDY SKILLS FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS, offers proven strategies to improve and strengthen study skills.

CRITICAL AND CREATIVE THINKING FOR TEENAGERS, helps students develop 21st century skills.

10th Grade
SOPHOMORE GUIDE TO COLLEGE AND CAREER: Preparing for Life After School, helps students identify their interests and abilities and match them to potential career fields.

11th Grade
JUNIOR GUIDE TO SENIOR YEAR SUCCESS: Becoming A Global Citizen, offers a world-class standard on preparing for college admissions and planning the senior year of high school.

12th Grade
MAJORING IN THE REST OF YOUR LIFE: Career Secrets for College Student, fifth edition,our best-seller which helps seniors in high school prepare for a successful transition to college.

Curriculum is available for every one of these books. To receive review copies and curriculum samples, call the toll free # 1.877.737.8510 or email


CBS News
Study: Boys Still Trail Girls in Reading
(CBS/AP) Girls in the U.S. have closed the achievement gap in math, but boys still lag behind in reading, according to a new study.
March 17, 2010

The Center on Education Policy found that girls generally achieved the same proficiency in math as boys at the elementary, middle and high school grade levels. Girls have traditionally trailed boys in that subject.

However, the traditional gender gap in reading remains, with girls outperforming boys at the three main grade levels. In many states, the learning gap exceeded 10 percent.

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