Why Read?

Importance for Children

 The U.S. Department of Education and the National Education Association report that children who are read to regularly, and those who have easy access to books and who read for fun, have significant academic advantages over children who do not have access to books. Having access to a variety of reading materials and devoting time to reading are crucial components of becoming proficient readers. 

Students who read regularly enjoy less stress at school, have higher reading and math scores, better language and listening skills, better critical thinking skills, more active imaginations, and a better understanding of the world. Good ways to encourage children to read include providing easy access to high-interest reading materials and support for literacy skills. 

Importance for Adults

Children are more likely to read and value literacy when they see adults reading, but few American adults read on a regular basis. According to the Pew Research Center, in 2018 nearly one quarter of American adults reported not having read a book whole or in part in the past year. 

Adults who read on a regular basis, even just 30 minutes per day, enjoy benefits to their memory and cognitive function; they may experience health benefits such as reduced stress, better sleep, and lower blood pressure; they are better informed about current events; they are more likely to engage in meaningful exchanges with other people; and they are more likely to be active citizens in their communities.


Benefits for All Ages

 The advantages of regular reading include: 

  • Fewer feelings of stress and depression than non-readers. 
  • Deeper feelings of relaxation.
  • Higher levels of self-esteem.
  • Greater ability to cope with difficult situations.
  • Feeling closer to friends and to one's community.
  • Greater understanding and empathy with others.
  • Stronger and more engaged awareness of social issues and of cultural diversity. 
  • Benefits to memory and cognitive skills.

What You Can Do

Read 30 minutes per day, and encourage your children and grandchildren to read every day. Support a culture of reading in your home by establishing a dedicated "reading time" every day. Take advantage of literacy-based programs, such as story times, lectures by authors, public readings, and book clubs. Make use of your public library and book exchanges. Ask a friend what they are reading and talk about books. 

Services We Offer

The Arlington Book Project offers free tutoring, homework help, GED preparation, support for college and scholarship applications, and independent work systems. We also sponsor public readings, lectures, and exhibits, as well as The Southern Minnesota Book Festival.


1. Is there a charge for your services?

No. All of our services are free of charge. Independent work systems are available on a walk-in basis, but all other services require an appointment.

2. What is a independent work system? 

An independent work system includes tasks and activities that are visually organized so that the user knows what to do, how many steps are necessary to complete the task, how to know when you have completed the task, and what to do next. Independent work systems increase independent work skills in children and strengthen academic skills. For adults, independent work systems may reinforce memory and executive function, such as organization skills. Independent work systems may also be used to support fine motor skills (especially the use of hands, fingers, wrists) in children and adults.