"If You Give a Child a Book..."
How would you finish this sentence? At WSFL, we believe giving children books can take them new places, open their imaginations, fuel big dreams, plant the seeds for future success and help break the cycle of poverty. Children who lack ongoing access to a rich selection of books spend far less time reading, resulting in lower reading proficiency and a struggle to complete high school and prepare for the world beyond. Unfortunately, many children in low-income neighborhoods lack access to the quality books they need to become competent readers. That’s where our annual “If You Give a Child a Book …” campaign in partnership with the Scripps Howard Fund steps in.
Partnering with Title I schools
This year, WSFL and the Scripps Howard Fund will partner with the Early Learning Coalition of Broward County and the Miami-Dade County Head Start/Early Head Start Program to reach underserved children living in poverty, with a special focus on the critical kindergarten through third grade years when children are still learning to read. For this age group, there is no replacement for beloved books that a child can return to over and over. Yet, just as the formal learning process begins in school, many childhood literacy programs focused on kindergarten readiness end, leaving children with few resources to reinforce reading outside the classroom. That’s where our work with the Scripps Howard Fund begins.
Building home libraries
The teachers at the Early Learning Coalition of Broward County and the Miami-Dade County Head Start/Early Head Start Program are extraordinary educators who are dedicated to giving students the tools they need to read. The annual “If You Give a Child a Book …” campaign reinforces their work by helping students build home libraries – filling them with books children have chosen themselves.
Giving children the power of choice
Several higher education studies have found that when children select their own books, they are more likely to enjoy reading and score higher on comprehension tests. The Scripps Howard Fund’s partnership with Scholastic Books ensures children get to do just that. We’ll bring Scholastic Book Fairs to the Early Learning Coalition of Broward County and the Miami-Dade County Head Start/Early Head Start Program so students can select their own books to take home.
Providing access to diverse reading materials
When children have access to reading materials that represent different abilities, cultures, beliefs, races and ethnicities, they influence attitudes toward those differences. In the process, these books foster positive self-esteem and nurture respect, empathy and acceptance. Books should not be luxuries beyond the reach of low-income children. They are essential for a well-balanced childhood reading diet and pave the pathway to a successful future. Simply put, “If You Give a Child a Book …” you give a child a chance.