School Age Success
Children who face tough literacy risks are likely to fall behind early and stay behind throughout school. In summer, these children are at increased risk of losing ground. At a typical Books 2 U school, a great majority of kids are living in poverty and at least half do not read at grade level. Sometimes, the odds are much worse. At some schools, 9 out of 10 students are living in poverty and most students are behind grade level reading standards.
National experts, and local teachers, say that the key to strong literacy is finding the book that lights a child’s fire for reading. This is especially true for children who are facing tough odds and have fallen behind. Students read more, understand more, and are more likely to continue reading when they enjoy it. Librarians are experts at helping children find the books that light that vital fire.
Gifts to The Library Foundation support programs that transform children into skilled, avid readers. Passionate library “booktalkers” go into schools where poverty and language barriers put a high percentage of students at risk for low literacy. They enliven classrooms with high energy presentations that entice even the most challenged child to read. Over 20,000 books go home with students in low-performing schools.
More than 110,000 children—including 98% of all elementary school students in the county—boost their reading skills over the period of risk when school is not in session, thanks to the library’s Summer Reading program. Librarians and booktalkers seek out children all summer at public parks, summer programs and low-income housing developments.