November 8, 2021
November is National Family Literacy Month, an effort that encourages parents and caregivers to read to their children to foster family literacy. National Family Literacy Month was created in 1994 to contend with the estimated 93 million Americans who have a reading level at or below the basic level. Engaging in reading early in a child’s life can strengthen their language skills to ensure that they reach levels of success when graduating from high school and earning higher wages when entering the workforce.
In honor of National Family Literacy Month, let’s look at a few companies with book titles and services that appeal to children.
The world’s largest publisher of children’s books, Scholastic Corporation (Tii:SCHL) provides a wide range of books, comics, magazines, and other reading materials online, in schools, and at reading fairs. In fact, the publisher ended its fiscal first quarter with 16 of the top 25 children’s fiction books on the Publishers’ Weekly Bestseller List. Among its most popular titles from 2020 are All Because You Matter, Hi! Fly Guy, Who Would Win?: Tyrannosaurus Rex vs. Velociraptor, and I Survived: I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912. The popularity of its titles and subscription growth for its digital educational programs resulted in a 21% increase in revenues for its most recent quarter.
A leading provider of digital content and learning experiences, U.K.-based Pearson plc (Tii:PSO) works with teachers and students to develop course materials and digital tools that improve access to education and learning outcomes. Pearson’s youth-oriented literacy services include Bug Club, a dynamic phonics reading program teaching children to read through an online reading world, print books, and comics. The company’s US School Assessment Business helps young children and students reach their educational aspirations by partnering with departments of education and educators to develop customized and scalable assessments that measure 21st-century skills and inform instruction throughout the school year.
The publisher behind the popular For Dummies series, John Wiley & Sons (Tii:JW.A), boasts an online library of more than 22,000 books. Its titles for kids include The Science Chef: 100 Fun Food Experiments and Recipes for Kids, The Coffee Bean for Kids: A Simple Lesson to Create Positive Change, and Father Sky and Mother Earth. For parents that want to create their own literary works for their little ones, John Wiley publishes Writing Children’s Books For Dummies, which walks the reader through the writing, selling, publishing, and promoting processes.
A children’s book publishing pure-play, Tulsa, Okla.-based Educational Development Corporation (Tii:EDUC) titles include Don’t Tickle the Tiger, Shark in the Park, and All About Families. Earlier this month, the company announced plans to acquire Learning Wrap-Ups, which publishes various supplemental learning materials for math, vocabulary, and science, all of which include unique self-correction features. Its Usborne Books business was named Children’s Book Publisher of the Year 2020.
According to the National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning (part of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services), it’s never too early to start reading to children. Even before they can talk, children need to hear language to support brain development. Reading and telling stories with children is also a great way to expose them to a wide variety of words. Further, reading together provides a great opportunity for back-and-forth interactions with older children.