Let Kids Read!
We need your help to support summer reading, provide safe and meaningful literacy programs to early learners, and ensure students have the resources they need when schools reopen.
We need your help because children deserve books to learn, laugh, and grow with
now, later, and always.
Our students need access to books now
during the challenges we are currently facing.
Our students need access to books later
when schools and libraries reopen their doors.
Our students need access to books always
because they have always deserved nothing less.
"With a strong and healthy beginning, children can more easily stay on track to remain in school and graduate on time, pursue postsecondary education and training and successfully transition to adulthood. Yet our country continues to have significant gaps in educational achievement by race and income along all age groups of child development."
-Annie E. Casey Kids Count Report 2019
About 20% of children reported not reading a single book during the summer of 2018, which is alarming but unsurprising given that half of students reported that they primarily rely on their school library to access books, and given that low-income neighborhoods have starkly fewer books per child than wealthier neighborhoods.
-Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report, 2019
We need your help to ensure that our summer programs are funded and that we are ready and able to support our students, teachers, families, and wider community with whatever challenges and opportunities the new school year brings. Too many children are already subjected to the "summer slide," and the risk is greater than ever for those struggling in the midst of a health crisis that has closed schools, libraries, and other services.
We've set out to raise $30,000 by July 25th.
This will allow us to keep our programs up and running through the summer and fall and help us adapt to meet quickly-changing needs.
Supporting summer reading initiatives is a vital part of ensuring that all children from low-income families have homes and communities filled with books and high-quality educational opportunities year-round as they start on their path to literacy.
JULY 1 UPDATE: We are so thankful. Thanks to you, we met our match and hit our first goal of $30,000. Now we're onto our next goal of reaching $40,000 to help the PreK readers we serve start the new academic year off right with a summer of reading and learning to propel them forward.
“Students are able to verbalize more and they increase their vocabulary. Students have become creative thinkers and communicate better because of Books for Kids.”
- Preschool Director
WHY BOOKS? WHY NOW?
“The fact that we are here and that I speak these words is an attempt to break that silence and bridge some of those differences between us, for it is not difference which immobilizes us, but silence. And there are so many silences to be broken.”
― Audre Lorde
Literacy is so much more than learning to read. It is an equalizer and a mobilizer for the end of inequalities. The ending of illiteracy is part of the ending of silence.
Our campaign is called "Let Kids Read!" because even at the "best" of times there are too many children under the age of five who lack access to the books they need. They lack access to the joy and the development of skills and interests provided by books that their wealthier peers enjoy as a given.
And now, when the summertime already presents so many challenges for children of color from under-resourced communities across our nation, a public health crisis is raging that is affecting every facet of our lives. This crisis is not only exacerbating inequality, but revealing the racist inequities that already existed for all the world to see. As communities the world over come together to assert that Black lives matter, we see our mission as in solidarity with and inextricably tied to the liberation of our neighbors.
Learn more about our COVID response and how we're helping kids access and discover the life-affirming power of books now, later, and always
as we address our present moment. This page is evolving and we'll post when we have updates.
HOW FAR YOUR SUPPORT GOES
We've had to adapt quickly alongside our community partners to meet children and families where they are. A gift to Books for Kids supports all our efforts to ensure learning (and laughing!) continues through the summer and year-round for children in some of our most vulnerable communities.
Digital Story Time | Book Giveaways | Virtual Classroom Sessions |
Creation of Emergent Literacy Support Materials | Family Shelter Library Programs | Teacher Support
You can help support our Story Time Live videos which help children experience some Story Time magic in real time from the safety of their homes.
You can support Library Specialist's creating Story Time videos for on-demand viewing and leading virtual classroom meetings when schools are in session.
This level of giving can support the cleaning and replenishment of school library shelves, which serve hundreds of children each week, when schools reopen.