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61% of low-income families have no age-appropriate books in their homes. Reach Out and Read, Reading Across the Nation: A Chartbook, 2007.

On average, children in economically depressed communities have 0-2 age appropriate books in their homes. Jeff McQuillan. The Literacy Crisis. California State University, 1998.

There is only one book for every 300 children in low-income neighborhoods. Reading Literacy in the United States: Findings from the IEA Reading Literacy Study, 1996.

The average child growing up in a low-income family has only been exposed to 25 hours of one-on-one reading. Reach Out and Read, Reading Across the Nation: A Chartbook, 2007.

The most successful way to improve the reading achievement of low-income children is to increase their access to print. Newman, Sanford, et all. “Americans Child Care Crisis: A Crime Prevention Tragedy”; Fight Crime; Invest in Kids, 2000. Mother-child bookreading in low-income families: Correlates and outcomes during the first three years of life.” Child Development, 77(4).

Children from low-income families are at greater risk for entering school unprepared. According to a national longitudinal analysis by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), economically disadvantaged children may know only one or two letters of the alphabet when entering kindergarten, while children in the middle class will know all 26. Lee, V. E. & Burkam, D. T. (2002). ************************Inequality at the starting gate: Social background differences in achievement as children begin school. Washington, D.C.: Economic Policy Institute.

***********Half of these children from low-income communities start first grade up to two years behind their peers. Brizius, J. A., & Foster S. A. (1993). Generation to Generation: Realizing the Promise of Family Literacy. High/Scope Press.

**********Almost 13 million American children live in poverty.

% are under the age of five.Geography Matters: Child Well-Being in the States. Every Child Matters Education Fund April 2008.

1 in 4 children in America grow up without learning how to read. WriteExpress Corporation. "Literacy Statistics." Begin to Read. Accessed April 16, 2014.

One in six children who are not reading proficiently in the third grade do not graduate from high school on time, a rate four times greater than that for proficient readers. This rate is higher in children from low-income families and rural areas. Annie E. Casey Foundation, Kids Count Data Center.

The sad truth is that the vast majority of children who start behind, stay behind, leading to an increase in our nation’s dropouts rate among low-income and minority students. America’s Early Childhood. Jumpstart, 2009.

68% of America’s fourth graders read at a below proficient level. 82% of those children are from low-income families. Annie E. Casey Foundation, Double Jeopardy: How Third Grade Reading Skills and Poverty Influence High School Graduation, 2011.

78% of juvenile crime is committed by high school dropouts. “Literacy Research.” National Children’s Reading Foundation.

The sad truth is that the vast majority of children who start behind, stay behind, leading to an increase in our nation’s dropouts rate among low-income and minority students. America’s Early Childhood. Jumpstart, 2009

An American kid drops out of high school every 26 seconds. The Forum for Youth Investment with the Ready by 21™ Partners. Getting the Most Out of Your Dropout Prevention Summit: Planning Guide. May 2008. Forum for Youth Investment and America’s Promise Alliance.

Each dropout, over his or her lifetime, costs the nation approximately $260,000. Rouse, C.E. (2005). “Labor market consequences of an inadequate education.” Paper prepared the Social Costs of Inadequate Education symposium, Teachers College Columbia University. October 2005.

Half of youths with a history of substance abuse have reading problems. National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities. (1998). Children with reading disability. Washington, D.C.: Robert Bock.

**************Among those who reach adulthood with the lowest level of literacy proficiency, 43% live in poverty. Among those who have strong literacy skills, only 4% live in poverty. Annie E. Casey Foundation, Kids Count Data Center.



Reading aloud is the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading. Reach Out and Read, Archives of Disease in Childhood, Reading Aloud to Children: The Evidence, 2008.

Of all parent-child activities, reading aloud provides the richest exposure to language, so promotion of reading aloud, especially for children from more disadvantaged backgrounds, holds great promise for strengthening school readiness and laying a strong foundation for future educational success. Reach Out and Read, Archives of Disease in Childhood, Reading Aloud to Children: The Evidence, 2008.

Reading aloud to young children is not only one of the best activities to stimulate language and cognitive skills; it also builds motivation, curiosity, and memory. Bardige, B. Talk to Me, Baby!(2009), Paul H Brookes Pub Co.

Early literacy encompasses all of a child’s experiences with conversation, stories (oral and written), books, and print. Rebecca Parlakian, Before the ABCs: Promoting School Readiness in Infants and Toddlers. Washington, DC: Zero to Three, 2003.

At its heart, literacy is about communication, which begins long before a baby utters her first word. Babies are prewired to learn, communicate, and connect with others; they tell us what they need through their cries, facial expressions, sounds, and movements. Janice Im, Carol Osborn, Sylvia Sánchez, et al., Cradling Literacy: Building Teachers’ Skills to Nurture Early Language and Literacy from Birth to Five. Washington, DC: Zero to Three, 2007.

Across the nation just under half of children between birth and five years (47.8%) are read to every day by their parents or other family members . Russ S, Perez V, Garro N, Klass P, Kuo AA, Gershun M, Halfon N, Zuckerman B. Reading Across the Nation: A Chartbook (2007): Reach Out and Read National Center, Boston, MA .

1 in 4 children in America grow up without learning how to read. WriteExpress Corporation. "Literacy Statistics." Begin to Read. Accessed April 16, 2014.

Children growing up in homes with at least 20 books get 3 years more schooling than children from bookless homes, independent of their parents’ education, occupation, and class. Evans, M. D., Kelley, J., Sikora, J., & Treiman, D. J. (2010). Family scholarly culture and educational success: Books and schooling in 27 nations. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 28(2), 171-197.

Creating a steady stream of new, age-appropriate books has been shown to nearly triple interest in reading within months. Harris, Louis. An Assessment of the Impact of First Book’s Northeast Program. January 2003.

Experts are nearly unanimous in stating that babies should routinely experience shared books as soon as they experience shared talking, that is, during the first weeks and months of life. Butler, D. (1998). Babies need books. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

The nurturing and one-on-one attention from parents during reading aloud encourages children to form a positive association with books and reading later in life. Reach Out and Read, Archives of Disease in Childhood, Reading Aloud to Children: The Evidence, 2008.

Giving children access to print materials is associated with positive behavioral, educational, and psychological outcomes. Reading Is Fundamental, Access to Print Materials Improves Children’s Reading: A Meta-Analysis of 108 Most Relevant Studies Shows Positive Impacts, 2010)

Across the nation just under half of children between birth and five years (47.8%) are read to every day by their parents or other family members. Russ S, Perez V, Garro N, Klass P, Kuo AA, Gershun M, Halfon N, Zuckerman B. Reading Across the Nation: A Chartbook (2007): Reach Out and Read National Center, Boston, MA.

Children who live in print-rich environments and who are read to during the first years of life are much more likely to learn to read on schedule. Reach Out and Read, Reading Aloud to Children: The Evidence, Archives for Disease Control, 2008.

The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study found that in the spring of 2000, the children who were read to at least three times a week by a family member were almost twice as likely to score in the top 25% in reading compared to children who were read to less than 3 times a week. Denton, Kristen and Gerry West, Children’s Reading and Mathematics Achievement in Kindergarten and First Grade (PDF file), U.S. Department of Education, NCES, Washington, D,2002.

By the age of 2, children who are read to regularly display greater language comprehension, larger vocabularies, and higher cognitive skills than their peers. Raikes, H., Pan, B.A., Luze, G.J., Tamis-LeMonda, C.S.,Brooks-Gunn, J., Constantine, J., Tarullo, L.B., Raikes, H.A., Rodriguez, E. (2006).

37% of children arrive at kindergarten without the skills necessary for lifetime learning. Landry, S. H. (2005). Effective Early Childhood Programs: Turning Knowledge Into Action. Houston, TX: University of Texas, Health Science Center at Houston.

There is almost a 90% probability that a child will remain a poor reader at the end of the fourth grade if the child is a poor reader at the end of first grade. Boyer, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Children and teenagers who read for pleasure on a daily or weekly basis score better on reading tests than infrequent readers. Frequent readers also score better on writing tests than non-readers or infrequent readers. Reach Out and Read, Reading Aloud to Children: The Evidence, Archives for Disease Control, 2008.

Higher reading exposure was 95% positively correlated with a “hub” region supporting semantic language processing in the brain, controlling for household income. Hutton, J. S., Horowitz-Kraus, T., Mendelsohn, A. L., DeWitt, T., & Holland, S. K. (2015). Home Reading Environment and Brain Activation in Preschool Children Listening to Stories. Pediatrics, 136(3), 466-478.

Findings show higher-than-average scores among students who reported more types of reading material at home. Donahue, P. L., A. D. Finnegan, and N. L. Lutkus, The Nation’s Report Card: Fourth-Grade Reading 2001 (PDF file), U.S. Department of Education, NCES, Washington, DC 2001.

******80% of students, when asked which book they had enjoyed most, said that they had enjoyed most was the one they had selected themselves. Gambrell, L.B. (1996). Creating classroom cultures that foster reading motivation. The Reading Teacher, 50.

Students who choose what they read and have an informal environment in which to read tend to be more motivated, read more and show greater language and literacy development. Krashen, S. (1993). The Power of Reading. Englewood, Col.: Libraries Unlimited, Inc.

Teachers like to provide choice in the classroom because they believe that it increases motivation, effort and learning. Flowerday, T. & Schraw, G. (2000). Teacher Beliefs About Instructional Choice: A phenomenological approach. Journal of Educational Psychology, 74, 141-153.

1 in 4 children in America grow up without learning how to read. WriteExpress Corporation. "Literacy Statistics." Begin to Read. Accessed April 16, 2014.