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Reading and Literacy for Teens: The Critical Success Factor


The importance of reading and literacy for teens can’t be overstated. Here’s a quote from Dana Gioia, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, from the 2007 NEA Report “To Read or Not To Read: A Question of National Consequence“:

“The fact that nearly one-third of American teenagers drop out of school is deeply connected to declining literacy and reading comprehension. With lower levels of reading and writing ability, people do less well in the job market. Poor reading skills correlate heavily with lack of employment, lower wages, and fewer opportunities for advancement. Significantly worse reading skills are found among prisoners than in the general adult population. And deficient readers are less likely to become active in civic and cultural life, most notably in volunteerism and voting…. The habit of daily reading overwhelmingly correlates with better reading skills and higher academic achievement. On the other hand, poor reading skills correlate with lower levels of financial and job success…. Regular reading not only boosts the likelihood of an individual’s academic and economic success—facts that are not especially surprising—but it also seems to awaken a person’s social and civic sense. Reading correlates with almost every measurement of positive personal and social behavior surveyed.” -– Dana Gioia, Chairman, NEA

Learn more in the excellent article from Raising Bookworms, “Reading and Literacy Statistics“.

One huge reason I made my book Smile & Success for Teens quick and easy to read is so that teens will read it, and they are. During the nine months I spent meeting with teens to get their valuable input for the book, I’d often ask, “Would you read this?” At the start, they said “No”, and I already knew why. It was too long and that’s what they told me.

After listening to their advice and rewriting the book multiple times to eliminate extra words and shorten it, I asked them the same question again, and added the question, “Why would you read this book?” They all responded with virtually the same answers: “Yes, I would read this.”, and, “Because it’s short and easy to read. I need to learn some of the tips in this book and it’s fun to read.”

We need to give teens books that are interesting and enjoyable to read. When I show my book to moms, often their first knee-jerk reaction is, “My teen won’t read it.” I think we need to give teens more credit. Recently my cousin told me he was walking by his teenage son’s bedroom one night and his son was reading Smile & Succeed for Teens in bed. I hear many stories like this from parents.

When given the chance, many teens enjoy reading and learning. Teens tell me they find Smile & Succeed for Teens inspirational and that it helps them gain confidence and overcome shyness. Be sure to check out the article “Building Teenage Self-Confidence Through Social Skills“. Below are some testimonials from teens and moms:

“Using these everyday skills really helped me and I think it would help a lot of people who read this book. The most useful part of Smile & Succeed for Teens would be practicing proper body language. This book taught me that you should stand and sit up straight. If you have proper body language people respect you more. If you smile at people they will respect you and it is easier to start conversations without it being awkward.”
—SAVANNAH, teenager

“The Smile & Succeed for Teens book can really change your life. I want to thank whoever wrote this book.”
—ANTHONY, teenager

“This book inspired me to go after what i want in life. Thank you so much for helping me out in life.”
—MELISSA, teenager

Smile and Succeed for Teens is the perfect book for preparing for life and the future. With all the tips and tricks this book has, it is great for learning good people skills. When I grow up, I would love to be a golf caddy. Smile and Succeed & Succeed for Teens is the perfect book for career readiness. I hope you continue to make more books to help educate people like me.
—JACOB, teenager

“I gave your book to my son. He is the rough type, a hunter. I thought he’d either like it or not. He loves your book! He told me that he likes it so much he is going to take it to school to show his teacher! This is a huge compliment to you and your book!”
—CHRISTINA, mother, South Lyon, MI

“My teenage sons have been reading your book and it was their idea!”

View more testimonials here.

What type of reader is your teenager?

Learn reading and literacy skills for teenagers in Kirt Manecke’s award-winning books Smile & Succeed for Teens: Must-Know People Skills for Today’s Wired World, Parent’s Guide for Smile & Succeed for Teens, and Smile: Sell More with Amazing Customer Service. Learn more about Kirt on his website.
Posted by Kirt Manecke | 0 Comment
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