Why This Matters
Facts About Early Literacy:
The single most important factor influencing a child's early educational success is an introduction to books and being read to at home prior to beginning school.
— National Commission on Reading
The only behavior measure that correlates significantly with reading scores is the number of books in the home.
— The Literacy Crisis: False Claims, Real Solutions
Having books in the home is twice as important as the father's education level.
— Research in Social Stratification and Mobility
In middle-income neighborhoods the ratio of books per child is 13:1. In low-income neighborhoods the ratio is 1 age-appropriate book for every 300 children.
— Neuman, Susan B. and David K. Dickinson, ed. Handbook of Early Literacy Research, Vol. 2. New York, NY
2 out of 3 low-income families have no books at all in their homes for their children.
— Reading Literacy in the United States
More than $2 billion is spent each year on students who repeat a grade because they have reading problems.
— U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services
2 out of 3 students who cannot read proficiently by the end of 4th grade will end up in jail or on welfare.
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.
The most successful way to improve the reading achievement of low-income children is to increase their access to print.
— Newman, Sanford, et all. "American's Child Care Crisis: A Crime Prevention Tragedy"; Fight Crime: Invest in Kids.