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If you give a child a book, literacy campaign

Literacy campaign will help kids learn to read
Posted at 11:27 AM, Jan 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-23 16:30:37-05

What were your favorite books as a child?

Imagine a childhood without the wonderment of reading. Far too many children in our community and across the country face growing up without a single book of their own. Yet research shows that children who are read to frequently do better in school. 

Together, we can put books in the hands of children living in poverty.

Through donations made to the "If you give a child a book..." campaign, Scripps employees and viewers were able to collect more than 800 brand new books for the United Way of Tucson, and the Scripps Howard Foundation gave the United Way two special $10,000 grants as part of National Reading Day which celebrates and encourages reading.

In Arizona, 530,000 adults read no better than an average 5th grader.

Why do we give books to children living in poverty?

Children living in poverty begin their lives with a host of disadvantages, among them: poor literacy skills. Studies show children who grow up with books in the home enjoy a substantial advantage over children who do not.

A significant marker for educational success occurs when most children are only 8-9 years old when schools administer third-grade reading proficiency tests. How well a child reads at the end of third grade can affect the rest of her education.

Through third grade, students are learning to read. Beginning in fourth grade, students are reading to learn – using their reading skills to gain information, solve problems and think critically.

A child who can’t read at grade level by third grade is four times less likely to graduate from high school. If this same child lives in poverty, she is 13 times less likely to graduate.