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Literacy in America

Amidst a Reading Crisis, Large Print Helped My Student Succeed

Sabine McAlpine

Strategic Account Director, Thorndike Press

2019 report from the National Assessment of Educational Progress found that the average eighth-grade reading score has declined in more than half of U.S. states — proof of our nation’s current reading crisis. 

Even if students are reading at grade level, it can still be difficult. For students who struggle with reading, comprehending content becomes increasingly difficult, and the desire to read in school or at home vanishes. 

Finding solutions

My daughter, Danielle, struggled with reading from an early age. I worked with her teachers to implement any and every new strategy with little success. In fourth grade, we discovered that she has two learning disabilities, both processing and memory, and an ADD diagnosis. 

Danielle’s teachers and I discussed supplemental resources that could help support her reading efforts in the classroom and at home. It’s at that moment that large print books became an option. 

Danielle started using large print in class and at home we’d read various large print titles together. Whether she was reading out loud or listening along, Danielle could easily follow across the lines without losing her place. Today, Danielle is thriving in college and I believe large print helped make that happen.

A major change

study from Project Tomorrow and Thorndike Press solidifies two main benefits of large print text — it improves student reading skills and changes students’ mindsets. Large print changes how a child feels about themselves, from “I can’t read,” “I don’t know how to read,” or “I don’t want to read that,” to “I can do this,” “I can read,” and, most importantly, “I want to read.” 

That’s a big change. Gaining confidence in reading seeps into every other aspect of a student’s life, including academic achievement. I urge every teacher and parent to explore large print text as a reading supplement — it could change a child’s life. Try large print books today:

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