Large print books have a legacy of supporting reading engagement and proficiency in older adults, leading to a narrow – and inaccurate – view of the format’s usefulness.

A 2019 report from the National Center for Education Statistics found that the average eighth-grade reading score has declined, indicating a dire need for new solutions to support student reading efforts – large print text is one easy-to-implement option.

As a former librarian, I’ve seen the positive difference that large print text can make for young readers – but don’t just take my word for it. A 2019 study conducted by Project Tomorrow and Thorndike Press examined the impact of large print text on student reading ability and confidence. The research shows that large print text can help increase reading ability in students while also changing their mindset and habits.

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“Two things made this particular study so significant. First, the enthusiasm of the students and teachers for large print was unparalleled. And then second, the academic results of the study indicate that this is a very viable literacy intervention resource that everyone should investigate more fully.” – Dr. Julie Evans, Ed.D, Chief Executive Officer, Project Tomorrow

5 myths about large print books - busted!

To help spread the word about the benefits of large print text for readers of every age, we’re busting five myths to dispel misconceptions and break the stigma. Only when we have a broader understanding of the impact of large print can we can fully leverage it to increase student reading ability.

Myth #1: Large print is only for senior citizens.

Large print is not just a bigger font size that makes reading accessible for older, visually impaired readers. Larger text is proven to improve letter and word recognition, aid reading comprehension and increase feelings of confidence and satisfaction when reading.

About the Author:

After working for 20 years in education as a teacher, librarian, digital learning specialist and district-level administrator, Jennifer Shafer joined the team at Thorndike Press as an education consultant to bring awareness of the power of large print for striving readers and help in the fight for student literacy.


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