30 Million Word Gap

babyMany people have heard of the poverty-wealth gap and realize the many defects that surround the issue. However, very few people are aware of the 30 million word gap, and even fewer people know what results from it.

The 30 million word gap results from children of low income families knowing approximately 30 million fewer words than children from higher income parents. This is a problem because by the time children reach the third grade they have almost reached their maximum potential of learning vocabulary. However, since children of higher income parents know more words they begin to get further ahead and other children begin to fall behind. This is a huge issue for various reasons. For one, when a child is in third grade he lacks confidence. Seeing that other children know a lot more than he does makes the child feel less significant. This leads to the next issue. Statistics show that children that lack a large vocabulary span and come from low income families are 16 times less likely to graduate high school. Therefore, the probability of such a child graduating from high school can start decreasing in his childhood years.

The word gap has started to become a big issue, but still many people are not sure on how to fix it. The word deficit begins at home, therefore, the main thing that parents should do is read to their kids every night. This allows children to pick up on vocabulary a lot quicker, even if they don’t know how to talk well yet. There are also programs, organized by local school districts and nonprofit organizations, that can help parents learn more vocabulary to teach their kids. Programs like that are a huge help to both parents and children because that way both will be advancing in their vocabulary skills.

Overall, the purpose is to help minimize the 30 million word gap so that children from low income families have a better chance of attending college. The first step is to help the public understand that the challenge begins before children reach school age.

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