Nearly half of all US children enter kindergarten lacking the basic reading skills necessary for school success. Often the deficits that begin early grow and persist over school careers. Once children enter kindergarten behind, they rarely catch up. One of the most effective ways to effectively prepare children for success is by reading to them regularly, yet very few programs offer families the books, materials, training and support they need to help prepare children for a lifetime of learning.
The project will work with communities from rural areas to urban centers to provide books and help families develop the critical practice of book sharing in order to give the most vulnerable children the literacy and language tools they need.
The project will provide books and vital early literacy programs to 1,000 high-risk children through a model that has proven it can close achievement gaps so children can enter kindergarten prepared and ready for a lifetime of success.