UK & World News
Modern Life Hitting Kids' Attention Span
TV, computer games and the demands of modern life are all shortening children's attention spans, according to a survey of teachers.
The result is that children are in danger of losing the joy of reading, says publisher Pearson, which commissioned the survey and is launching a campaign to encourage children to take an interest in books.
The study of 400 English teachers and 2,000 parents of children up to primary school age found that children spend three times more of their time in "on-screen" activity at home than they do looking at books.
And, while nearly half of parents say they read to their child every day, 30% say they only read with or to their children once a week or less.
Pearson has now launched an "Enjoy Reading" campaign which will offer thousands of free books to children and provide online ideas to whet their appetites while they are on the computer.
Broadcaster, author and mother Mariella Frostrup is the face behind the campaign which will be working with a number of authors.
"As parents we can encourage our children to develop a love of reading from an early age but it can be challenging when there are so many demands on all of our attention," Ms Frostrup said.
"Putting great books in the formats that children enjoy and helping parents and teachers find new ways to inspire a love of reading in children of all abilities is a vital job for the Enjoy Reading campaign."
Pearson's Rod Bristow said: "Study after study has shown that reading for pleasure is a key indicator of future success for children, but demands on children's attention and the difficulty of inspiring reluctant readers mean many are missing out."
Schools taking part in the campaign will be given the chance to win 100,000 online and hardback books.