Teens and Tweens: Large Print Makes a Difference!


Vision Thing

Smartphones, tablets, laptops, and netbooks have all revolutionized the world for every age group.  For tweens and teens, the effects of hours of utilizing these devices has made a real impact on their vision.  The impact on literacy levels has also been noted.  Dr. Ralph Chu remarks on one condition called dry eye disease (DED), saying that, “you see (DED) commonly in people who are in their 50’s & 60’s, but now with children who are using their smartphones a lot, we’re seeing this more and more.”So, let’s read up on how large print can make all the difference in this vision thing!

Large Print and Learning

Believe it or not, larger print has some wonderful advantages, not just for staving off myopia.  Struggling readers can benefit significantly from larger print materials.  Tween and teen reluctant readers may want to read, but may be finding it difficult.  For tween/teen library users with cognitive challenges or learning disabilities large print makes a difference. Larger print can also help readers facing ADD, ADHD, and dyslexia.

Size Matters

According to Thorndike Press:

The combination of a larger font and fewer words on a page helps with:

  • Decoding—Fewer words means readers can fully decode and process each page
  • Fluency—Because the additional white space between lines slows the eye and increases the care they take with the text, young readers show improved fluency – Editor: this is also sometimes called “tracking”
  • Comprehension—Once decoding errors are eliminated and fluency improves, young readers can focus on the meaning of the text. Full comprehension leads to reading satisfaction

There’s real science behind all of this, folks:

“Large print books are the missing component for accelerating literacy comprehension and reading fluency for all students, whether they are struggling, proficient, or in between,” — Literacy and Neuroscience Researcher, Elizabeth Lowe

Don’t Just Take My Word For It

So, I got some practical responses from the field for you, so I can definitely say, don’t just take my word for it:

hear what students shared about large print












This same system made stronger bonds between public libraries and school media centers by promoting large print for teens and tweens:

large print builds stronger partnerships between public schools and public libraries













Special thanks to Beth Napier, MLS for bringing large print for tweens and teens to my attention and all of its wonderful possibilities!”