The facts are staggering.
- 61% of low-income families do not have a single book suitable for a child.1
- Perhaps the most serious problem with current literacy campaigns is that they ignore, and even divert attention from, the real problem: Lack of access to books for children of poverty.2
- Half of children from low-income communities start first grade up to two years behind their peers.3
- Two-thirds of students who cannot read proficiently by the end of the 4th grade will end up in jail or on welfare.4
- In middle-income neighborhoods the ratio of books per child is 13 to 1, in low-income neighborhoods, the ratio is 1 age-appropriate book for every 300 children.5
Ferst Readers cannot address all the issues of early literacy; however, we can eliminate one of the major reasons why parents do not read to their child – the availability of quality books in the home. Books delivered not just once, but up to 60 times in the child’s critical years of development. Each delivery is wrapped in love and excitement and each is another step toward helping children to arrive at kindergarten ready to learn!
What the research tells us:
- The single most significant factor influencing a child’s early educational success is an introduction to books and being read to at home prior to beginning school.6
- By the age of 2, children who are read to regularly display greater language comprehension, larger vocabularies, and higher cognitive skills than their peers.7
- The only behavior measure that correlates significantly with reading scores is the number of books in the home.8
- The most successful way to improve the reading achievement of low-income children is to increase their access to print.9
- Creating a steady stream of new, age-appropriate books has been shown to nearly triple interest in reading within months.10
Some things can wait.
Investing in our youngest children is not one of them.
Adopt a reader today.
2 Krashen, 2007
3 Brizius, J. A., & Foster S. A. (1993). Generation to Generation: Realizing the Promise of Family Literacy. High/Scope Press.
5 Neuman, Susan B. and David K. Dickinson, ed. Handbook of Early Literacy Research, Volume 2. New York, NY: 2006,.
6 National Commission on Reading, 1985.
7 Raikes, H., Pan, B.A., Luze, G.J., Tamis-LeMonda, C.S.,Brooks-Gunn, J., Constantine,J., Tarullo, L.B., Raikes, H.A., Rod-riguez, E. (2006). “Mother-child book reading in low-income families: Correlates and outcomes during the first three years of life.” Child Development, 77(4).
8 The Literacy Crisis: False Claims, Real Solutions, 1998.
9 Newman, Sanford, et all. “American’s Child Care Crisis: A Crime Prevention Tragedy”; Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, 2000
10 Harris, Louis. An Assessment of the Impact of First Book’s Northeast Program. January 2003.