The Reading Professor

Presenter Information

Claudia T. WattsFollow

Document Type



It is important that young children from low-income families and who are also categorized as being from a low socioeconomic status, acquire the early literacy skills that support their development. These skills should enable them to transfer their learning as they progress through succeeding grades. Research indicates that young children will be more successful at reading if they have access to quality learning materials and enriching literacy programs. The purpose of this article is to better understand and briefly discuss how poverty negatively influences early reading success. Children from low-income families often have significantly lower pre-academic skills, infrequent interactions with learning materials, and experience less parental involvement. This article discusses some of the research that has explored how poverty affects reading success in children's early years. The greater the degree of poverty, the less likely students are to meet acceptable reading standards, The most recent studies on the correlation between poverty and reading success still indicate that the cycle of disadvantage is yet to be broken. Implications and limitations for these students' literacy skills and overall academic success are discussed.