The Importance of Reading in Teens

Teachers and parents read to younger children and encourage children to read. Pediatricians, preschool teachers and parenting websites stress the importance of parents reading to their children. Once children can read to themselves, the amount of time parents spend reading with their children and encouraging them to read dwindles, according to The Learning Community 1. Parents are less involved with their older children's reading habits, but the importance of reading in teens is paramount. Parents should understand how reading plays a large role in teenagers' lives now and in the immediate future.


Above all, teenagers should see reading as a joy, not a chore. Libraries have reading programs or book clubs where teens can leisurely read or compete for book points. When parents read with them, either aloud or by sharing a book, teenagers will engage more with reading and better their reading comprehension. Reading comprehension is the level at which a person understands text. According to an article on the National Center for the Learning Disabilities website, reading for fun will improve teenagers' reading comprehension.


Having high levels of literacy are needed for most employment in the information age. Teens will soon enter the work force and to advance in careers, they must be strong readers. To run a household, participate in community events and function well in a daily social life, people must be strong readers.

Standardized Testing

Most standardized tests, such as the ACT, have a reading portion. The purpose is to test how well a student can read and answer questions based on a passage. While many tests are necessary for college admittance, students should realize they will be expected to complete similar tasks at college. Additionally, some high schools require an exit exam which includes a reading comprehension test.

College Prep

No matter the major, students must read and understand vast amounts of material, if they go to college. High school teachers should prepare teenagers for this by assigning thought-provoking and diverse reading material. Teenagers might dislike reading assigned texts or novels, but this exercise is meant to improve their reading comprehension with age appropriate materials. Parents who fear their child is not on course for college material can speak with a reading specialist at the teen's high school. A tutor or mini class -- often offered by community colleges -- can also improve a teen's readiness for reading college level material.