USA (MNN) — Illiteracy plagued the United States long before COVID-19 ever entered the country. More than 30 million adults cannot read, write, or do basic math above a third-grade level.
That number could rise, unless something reverses the pandemic’s toll on education. Second- and third-grade students are 30-percent behind in their reading skills, according to a recent national study.
What if you could get kids to read every day and – better yet – read their Bible? A program from Keys for Kids Ministries is designed to do just that.
“Our Word with Zach reading program keeps kids and teens in their Bible every day throughout the summer, and we have prizes that we give away,” Keys for Kids Development Director Jessica Kogelshatz says.
Some kids may read only to win a few prizes, but they’ll reap long-term benefits, too.
“This [program] gives a specific reading structure and a devotion every day, so it not only keeps you and your kids in your Bible, but it continues that reading throughout the summer, which is so important for kids,” Kogelshatz explains.
As explained here, literacy matters beyond the classroom:
Third graders who cannot read on grade level today are on track to be our nation’s lowest income, least skilled citizens. Reading is a prerequisite for most adult employment, continued personal achievement, and for a continued democracy. And sadly, some states use their elementary students’ reading failure rates to predict future prison sizes.
Word with Zach kicks off June 1st, but you can pre-register today at the Keys for Kids website.
“We have so many amazing testimonies from parents about how they are able to have tough conversations with their kids, or kids to come to know Christ through this program,” Kogelshatz says.
“The first year we didn’t know what kind of impact it would have, and we had over 5,000 people sign up.”
Pray for resources so Keys for Kids can keep Word with Zach going. “The program is free but there are costs for our staff, so [be] praying over whether or not you could make a donation so that we can continue this program,” Kogelshatz requests.
“Pray that more kids and teens learn about this program and sign up because more people reading God’s Word is amazing.”
Header image is a representative stock photo courtesy of Max Goncharov/Unsplash.