‘1 in 4 kids go to bed without a story’

Most children prefer games or television to books, WIZO survey for National Book Week finds.

June 5, 2013 03:31
2 minute read.
PRIME MINISTER Binyamin Netanyahu and Culture Minister Limor Livnat award reading certificates

Netanyahu and Livnat with children 370. (photo credit: Prime Minister’s Office)

One in four Israeli children go to bed without a book, according to a survey conducted by the Women’s International Zionist Organization for National Book Week and released on Tuesday.

The data surveyed around 450 parents and found that most children prefer games or television to books.

In addition, although half of Israeli parents make sure to read a story to their children everyday, about one-third only do so twice a week and the rest of the parents said that they rarely, or never, read books to their children. In most households, parents read stories to their children at bedtime.

The survey also showed that in 70 percent of households, the mother is responsible for storytelling and encourages reading, and only in 15% of them, fathers take charge of such activities. In the remaining 15% of families, the grandparents read stories to the children.

According to WIZO, some 45% of the families surveyed possess membership to the public library, only 16% of whom reported visiting it once a week. About 15% said they visit the library once every two or three weeks and the rest said they do so once a month.

About 55% of the families surveyed are not subscribed to the public library.

“Book Week is an opportunity to raise awareness to the importance of reading books, nurturing the culture of reading and for parents to spend quality time with their children,” chairwoman of World WIZO, Professor Rivka Lazovsky said in a statement.

Director of the WIZO early age department, Dr. Naomi Moreno added that the survey proves the need for developing children’s reading habits that, according to her, should become an integral part of the relationship between parents and their children.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Culture Minister Limor Livnat also marked National Book Week on Monday as they awarded certificates of appreciation to 30 children from across the country whose reading achievements in the past year have stood out among thousands of pupils.

Netanyahu extolled the virtues of reading to the young crowd, saying there is a great achievement in finishing a good book and offered some advice to the children.

“I only ask you to do one thing – what you love to do,” he said, “Continue to read, to expand your knowledge and become wiser. This will not only help you in life, it will very much enrich it.”

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