Day 336 of #LiveWell2017
One of the greatest gifts we can give to any child is a love for reading. For those who grow up in a typical middle-class U. S. home, books and other reading materials are abundant (on average, 13 books per child). For children in poverty the average is zero.
“A child from a low-income family enters first grade with an average of only 25 hours of one-to-one picture book reading, compared with 1,000 to 1,700 hours for a child from a typical middle-class home.” – Children’s Book Bank
Even more startling is how few American children’s books feature children of color. Children of all races, ethnicities, and religions need to see themselves in the literature they read in order to empower them to and give them insiration and opportunity to grow and learn. At the same time, I believe it is powerful and necessary for white children to read and see stories about non-white children, to understand the world is full of beautiful people of all colors, shapes, sizes, and beliefs.
One of the greatest gifts my son ever got was the gift of books, delivered to our mailbox every 6 weeks from birth to age 12, thanks to a friend of the family. He was surrounded by books all his young life and it enriched all of our lives by giving us the chance to read together and bond over beautiful pictures and words.
If you want to give the gift of books this year, by all means ask your local librarian for recommendations for books for the children you know – or, you can help more kids by donating to one of the children’s book programs listed below:
The Children’s Book Bank – Portland, OR (or look for a similar book bank in your area)
1000 Black Girl Books – This project/movement was started by 12-year old Marley Dias, who just won a 2017 Smithsonian Ingenuity Award and has now written a book of her own!
Give books to kids, and build a love for reading!
Note: As with any charity donation, be sure to shoose the one that best fits your giving goals and spends more dollars on programs and impact than on administrative costs. You can check their ratings on Charity Navigator and Guidestar.