News release

Young Readers Show Improvement in International Study

Nova Scotia's Grade 4 students are at the top in Canada and continuing to improve when it comes to reading skills.

An international report released today, Dec. 11, shows the province's young readers are doing as well as any in the country.

Nova Scotia was the only province to show significant improvement since the last Progress in International Reading Literacy Study in 2006.

"Literacy is one of the most important skills our children need, and this report confirms our focus on young readers is producing results," said Education Minister Ramona Jennex.

"It's especially encouraging to see we're making strides in helping boys become strong readers. But we know there is still more room for improvement, and we will continue to invest in programs like Succeeding in Reading that help our youngest students develop a love of reading."

Nova Scotia's boys did better in the 2011 report compared to 2006. While girls continue to outperform boys in almost all of the 45 countries and jurisdictions that took part in the assessment, the gap is narrower in Canada than in most places, and in Nova Scotia boys are catching up.

For several years the province has offered resources and professional development for teachers focused on helping boys succeed in reading.

"We've recognized that boys learn differently," said Mamoona Brace, vice-principal at Bell Park Academic Centre in Lake Echo, Halifax Regional Municipality. "They need material that's going to make them see reading as part of real life as opposed to just a task they have to do in school."

Overall, only six of 45 jurisdictions fared better than Nova Scotia in the report. The study also shows that more students in Canada and Nova Scotia say they like to read compared to most other areas.

About 4,400 of Nova Scotia's Grade 4 students in 203 schools took part in the assessment in 2011. A report on provincial results is available at http://plans.ednet.ns.ca.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Nova Scotia's Grade 4 students are at the top in Canada and continuing to improve when it comes to reading skills.

The Progress in International Reading Literacy Study released today (December 11th) shows the province's young readers are doing as well as any in the country.

Nova Scotia was the only province to improve significantly since the last report in 2006. The province's boys also had better results in the latest report.

Education Minister Ramona Jennex says the report confirms the province’s focus on young readers is producing results, but there is still more room for improvement. The province will continue to invest in programs like Succeeding in Reading that help Nova Scotia's youngest students develop a love of reading.

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Media Contact:

Chad Lucas
Department of Education 902-424-8307 E-mail: