Here’s a good 2 minute summary of the problem from NPR.

Out of 8 million children starting school, a third do not have the basic vocabulary or familiarity with the alphabet to begin learning about reading.

Educational TV is “better than nothing,” states Richard Long of the International Reading Association.

What’s the solution? It’s hinted at in the story, but I’ll be more direct: Reading and having conversations with children for years before they begin school.

With reading and conversations with live human beings who care, children acquire all six skills they need to be ready to learn to read when they begin school.