WASHINGTON -- Children in the United States are spending less time reading books than their parents, grandparents or even their older siblings did at their age.
A report released Monday by the National Endowment for the Arts indicates that, instead of reading ,young people spend their free time watching television, surfing the Web, listening to their iPods and using their cell phones, The Boston Globe reports.
According to the study, only 30 percent of 13-year-olds read daily, a 14 percent decline from 20 years earlier.
"This is a massive social problem." says NEA chairman Dana Giolia. "We are losing the majority of the new generation. They will not achieve anything close to their potential because of poor reading."
Giolia said children's lives are "cluttered with a million gadgets."
The NEA report is a compendium of more than 40 studies on reading habits by universities, foundations, business groups and government agencies.
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