Studies show the ability to read can help lift children out of poverty. That’s why Florida 24 Network and the Scripps-Howard Foundation are committed to increasing literacy for children in need.
"Books that are tailored to the child where they are in that time is key. It helps to learn concepts, it helps to build development and it’s a tool for interacting with parents," said Michelle Toral with Miami-Dade Head Start.
Last year, our station donated over a thousand books to two Miami-Dade Head Start centers.
"We had an event where parents were able to pick up books. We also gave parents a quick guide on how to interact using that book. We were able to give each parent two books," said Toral.
One of the recipients this year is Lillie M. Wiliams Head Start Center in Miami.
"A child who has access to books is less shy, they’re more expressive and they could communicate well with whoever. [compared to a child] not involved with a book at all times, [it becomes] more of an impediment for them," said school readiness director, Rosie Virgile Frederic.
Frederic said the pandemic created a learning gap.
"You could see that the behaviors are not the same as the previous years. The lack of communication is a part of COVID-19. That becomes a problem because you could see that gap and it’s a big year gap," said Frederic.
The “If You Give a Child a Book” campaign hopes to close that gap by providing books children and families can take home to start their home libraries.
Studies show children who do not read at grade level by the end of third grade are four times less likely to graduate from high school, and these numbers more than triple for children who experience poverty.
"It could be a book about goodnight moon but it has shapes in it and a parent can easily say, what shape do you see here? That can build a conversation and an opportunity for learning," said Toral.
Please join us in our mission to empower children in need with the tools they need to be successful in school and in life. To donate head to florida24network.com/book.