You may have read my last blog about empowering youth to take calculated risks. One way to improve critical thinking skills and to encourage calculated risk taking is through reading regularly.
Reading is preparation for the future. We cannot put a price tag on the value of a quality education. No child can be properly education without becoming a good reader. Poor reading skills usually results in low grades and may lead to low self esteem. Reading opens up new worlds and new possibilities. A book allows youth to escape their current situation and imagine a brighter tomorrow. Youth become more aware of their worlds and their potential simply by reading.
Many youth in the foster care system are struggling academically whether because of interruptions in the education caused by displacement, unidentified learning disabilities, psychological issues, or not receiving the support and attention they need to progress. It is never too late to improve reading skills, however. The number one way to encourage the youth in your life to read is to lead by example – let them see you read. I also encourage you to read with teens (they may protest at first but usually come around). Another way to improve reading skills is to play games that require reading. Writing is also essential. Journaling or creating original commercials, plays, poetry or songs are also recommended.