According to the American Association of School Librarians, there is a strong correlation between independent reading and general academic achievement. Independent reading boosts vocabulary, reading comprehension, verbal skills and achievement-test scores. Moreover, early independent reading can create a snowball effect that expands knowledge. A 2011 study published in "Child Development," for example, found that children with higher reading test scores tended to do more independent reading. Independent reading in and of itself boosts reading test scores, so it could be that reading begets more reading.
Access to KnowledgeReading opens up a world of knowledge and can help children pursue their interests and hobbies. Students who read regularly have better research skills and are more effective writers, according to "Educational Psychology." The also have access to secondary sources of knowledge. If a teacher's style doesn't work well for a student, if he reads regularly and well, he can seek out a book to help him boost his knowledge.
Encouraging Independent ReadingAccording to the American Association of School Librarians, students who begin a book in class are more likely to continue reading it on their own. Practices such as daily independent reading time can boost a student's interest in reading. Programs such as the Accelerated Reader program -- which encourages students to read books, take comprehension tests and try to meet school-wide goals for reading -- can also help to encourage independent reading.