Access to books is a leading predictor for a child’s success in school. The average middle-income child has thirteen books at home, while in low-income communities there’s an average of one book for every three hundred children!
According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which has supported disadvantaged children around the country for more than sixty years, a child who can’t read by the third grade is four times more likely to drop out of school than a child who can read at grade level.
This doesn’t need to happen.
One of the things I talk about all the time is that $7 can change a life.
This small financial gift can make a huge difference when it is part a program called Book Trust. This is a non-profit organization that inspires kids’ passion for reading by empowering children from low-income families to choose books that they will own. Students get a $7 allowance per month to order books from the Scholastic Reading Club, which then in turn allows them to buy two or three books of their choice.
It’s an incredible opportunity for everyone involved.
Book Trust does so much with so little. Seven dollars a month can work miracles in a young student’s life. Book Trust was started by a family in Colorado, which is where we live, so for us, part of the decision to support them is because it directly influences our community. Investing in an organization that is part of my community makes for easy access, the free sharing of ideas, and the ability to get to know the founders and staff.
But the kids don’t care about any of that. They care about the day the books arrive. As they crowd around excitedly, their teacher opens the big box and starts handing out its treasures. Eager hands reach out as each name is called. Finally all the boys and girls hold books that they picked out themselves, spontaneously breaking into circles and reading to each other. Excited shouts and beaming smiles fill the classroom. Teachers tell us that they now carve out time just for the students to read and share together—filled with the thrill of discovery and adventure the new books bring.
Like what you hear? Pick up a copy of Every Gift Matters: How Your Passion Can Change the World, now available at Amazon.