Research

Early childhood literacy remains a prominent issue often not addressed by the current resources invested in children in low-income neighborhoods. Providing books to low-income and at-risk children is a proven way to help eradicate the problem of illiteracy in these neighborhoods. Research shows that early childhood literacy helps establish a solid foundation for future learning and academic success. By creating libraries, Books for Kids strives to promote literacy and help children who do not have adequate access to books surmount enormous disadvantages when entering school. The research below provides further information on the importance of early childhood literacy, the effects of inadequate literacy, and the impact of our work at Books for Kids.

More than 90% of our education dollars are spent after age 5


yet, 85% of a child’s core brain structure is developed before age 5.

“Vocabulary development by age 3 has been found to predict reading achievement…. By age 3, children from wealthier families have typically heard 30 million more words than children from low-income families” (AEC, 2010)

“By the time children from low-income families enter kindergarten, they are 12-14 months below national norms in language & pre-reading skills.” (AEC, 2010)

It is estimated that every student who doesn’t complete high school costs our society $260,000 in lost earnings, taxes and productivity. (Riley & Peterson, 2008)

The best investment is in quality early childhood development from birth to five for disadvantaged children and their families.
-Nobel Prize Winner James Heckman

The National Institute for Early Childhood Education Research estimates a return on investment in early childhood education to be $7 for every dollar invested.

22% of children who have lived in poverty (for at least 1 year) do not graduate from high school on time, compared with 6% of those who have never been poor. For children who have lived more than half of their childhood in poverty, this rate rises to 32% (Hernandez, 2011)

83% of children in low-income families have reading skills below the proficient level. (Hernandez 2011)

43% of people with the lowest literacy skills live below the poverty threshold (National Institute for Literacy)

By the beginning of fourth grade, the point at which we can accurately predict long-term learning outcomes, only 33% of American children are at proficient reading levels. (Bob Sornson 2013)