100,000 Books and Counting!
On Saturday, October 8 Reading to Kids will give away its 100,000th bookOctober 6, 2011 – Los Angeles, Calif. – As part of the Reading to Kids program, on the second Saturday of every month, hundreds of volunteers gather at 7 elementary schools located near downtown Los Angeles to read to kids. Every child receives a free prize book to take home and on Saturday, October 8th Reading to Kids will give away its 100,000th book.
According to the California Department of Education (2008), Los Angeles school libraries have an average of only 18 books per student, compared with the national average of 26. It has been established that the number of school library books per student is a significant predictor of reading achievement (Lifelong Information Literacy, 2011). Similarly, access to age-appropriate reading materials at home helps children read better (Access to Print Materials Improves Children’s Reading, Learning Point Associates, 2010). More than 60% of low-income families have no age-appropriate books (McQuillan, The Literacy Crisis).
Each month, Reading to Kids donates 20-30 hardcover books to each partner school library, five books to participating teachers for their classroom libraries, and one book for every participating child and parent. A critical component of our program is to give students both the encouragement and the access to continue reading outside of monthly reading clubs.
Since 1999 over 12,100 volunteers have donated their time on reading club Saturdays. Last year, Reading to Kids was voted the #2 Way to Volunteer by Citysearch.
About Reading to Kids
Reading to Kids is a grassroots organization dedicated to inspiring underserved children with a love of reading. Our mission is motivated by a landmark 1985 study, conducted by the National Commission on Reading, which found that "the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children." Reading to Kids' volunteers read aloud with skill and enthusiasm. Experiencing and internalizing the joy of reading gives children the foundation necessary to succeed academically, opening the doors to a better and brighter future.
Reading to Kids serves seven schools -- Alta Loma, Esperanza, Gratts, Los Angeles, Magnolia, Leo Politi, and Charles White -- all located in the Pico-Union and MacArthur Park neighborhoods just west of downtown Los Angeles. LAUSD reports that 92% of the children in those schools are economically disadvantaged, and 64% are English Language Learners.