Honoring Children's Rights to Excellent Reading Instruction
The International Reading Association asserts that, to meet the challenges of teaching literacy in the 21st century, it is time to build reading programs on a set of comprehensive principles that honor children's rights to excellent instruction.
We believe that all children have a right to:
- Early reading instruction the meets individual needs
- Reading instruction that builds skill and the desire to read increasingly complex materials
- Well-prepared teachers who keep their skills up to date
- A variety of books and other reading material in their classrooms, and in school and community libraries
- Assessment that identifies strengths as well as needs and involves students in making decisions about their own learning
- Supplemental instruction from professionals specifically prepared to teach reading
- Instruction that involves parents and communities in students' academic lives
- Instruction that makes meaningful use of first-language skills
- Equal access to instructional technology
- Classrooms that optimize learning opportunities
Meeting our obligation to provide excellent reading instruction to every child means that classrooms need to be rethought, sufficient financial investments must be made, and communities must wholeheartedly support school and instructional reform efforts.