Children's Literacy Overview
Our library today is so much more than books and buildings. Today, our library is working to address a crisis that will define our future. Every year, thousands of children start school not ready to learn to read. By eighth grade, nearly half of our students do not pass grade-level reading standards. The foundation supports innovative library programs that promote early, school age and family literacy in our community, with a special focus on efforts that target the hardest-to-reach children who are also most at risk for low literacy.
Through programs supported or made possible by the foundation, we are:
- Reaching first-time parents with books, instructional tools on brain development and incentives that encourage them to visit the library with their new babies.
- Bringing books and reading into the homes of children at-risk for low literacy with the new Every Child Initiative.
- Inspiring students in our lowest performing schools through rousing “booktalks” and exciting books that they can take home and read.
- Reaching vast numbers of children, through Summer Reading, at the time when low-performing students are most likely to fall further behind.
- Supporting teachers at a time when many school libraries are on the wane.
The library’s literacy programs reach every new parent in the county and go into childcare centers, Head Start classrooms, low-income housing sites, public parks, migrant and Native American programs, jails and juvenile detention centers, senior centers and all eight school districts in Multnomah County.