The Power of Reading (by Sarah Tipsord, Kristina Heininge, and Mary Kelley, Fall 2014 Capstone Students)

bookstackHaving books inside the home motivates students and their parents to read together, and having a variety of books in the home will eventually lead to raising a students’ reading level.

Please watch The Power of Reading to find out more about what we did to support literacy for kids in the Portland Metro community.

“Children in families with incomes below the poverty line are less likely to be read to aloud everyday than are children in families with incomes at or above poverty” (Facts about Children’s Literacy, 2014)

By collecting donations of books, our team has been proactively working to foster literacy in students that will eventually help them in their social and academic development: “One of the biggest obstacles to literacy is the scarcity of books in the home. In fact, two thirds of low-income families own no books for their children. Since early exposure to books is so important to developing prerequisite literacy skills and since strong reading skills correlate so highly with later school success, The Children’s Book Bank is working throughout Portland to collect tens of thousands of books to give to pre-school children of low-income families.” (Children’s Book Bank , 2014)

We hope that these books will get kids excited to read, but that they will also help them develop a lifelong passion for reading. Fourth graders who reported having 25 books or more at home had higher scores on reading tests than children who reported they didn’t have that many books. (Literacy Facts and Stats, 2014) Creating space for reading experiences outside the classroom is a must for students in today’s technology driven world. “Kids who don’t read proficiently by 4th grade are 4 times likelier to drop out of school” (11 Facts about Literacy in America, 2014) Students who are on the brink of becoming great readers need materials, and it has been an honor to provide them with the tools they need to succeed. Reading is an extremely important part of a child’s development. It is the basis to the rest of their lives and significantly increases the likeliness that they will finish school. Research shows that access to print materials can help improve a child’s reading performance and produces a positive attitude towards learning. It has also been found that reading at a young age also fosters a child’s imagination, creativity and helps them better understand the world.

Sadly it is estimated that two-thirds of children live in a home without access to books. With more public libraries and school having to downsize or shut down, children in low-income areas are at risk of not having the same opportunities as those in higher income areas. That is why we have helped Harvest Children’s Book Bank collect books for children in need. By collecting a total of 268 BOOKS between the three of us we are working towards decreasing that two-thirds statistic. With just a little bit of time and effort you can be the difference in a child’s life and their future.

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