The Every Child Initiative
Studies show that reading to a preschool child is crucial to that child’s lifetime success at learning. But many children in our community have no books in their homes and parents who, with the stress of making ends meet, may not be reading regularly with their children. Imagine the difference it would make in these children’s lives if their childcare center provided both reading tools for parents and caregivers that helped the entire family develop a shared reading time at home and colorful bags of books to borrow each week.
Multnomah County Library's early literacy efforts, made possible by gifts to The Library Foundation, have proven remarkably successful at creating shared home reading experiences for the last decade. In 2013, the library launched the newest comprehensive effort - the Every Child Initiative. This sweeping new initiative reaches more than 65,000 at-risk children and adults in our community annually.
Working with more than 400 partners, including Head Starts, childcare centers, home health professionals and nonprofits, Every Child A Reader sends a weekly rotation of children's books in 11 languages into the homes of more than 34,000 at-risk children and parents. Librarians provide training and activities that encourage parents, educators and caregivers to read to children. And through a new partnership with the WIC (Women Infants & Children) program, the library's early literacy team reaches over 25,000 mothers and children considered most at risk for low literacy.
See the program in action here.
The Every Child Initiative is made possible by The Library Foundation with gifts from Meyer Memorial Trust, The Collins Foundation, JFR Foundation, ESCO Foundation, and Burch-Safford Foundation.