Sometimes the best way to get kids to care is for them to notice problems that may be hiding in plain sight. Childhood hunger is something we have highlighted as a problem that could be facing someone sitting right next to you or your child in class. Something even more prevalent and affects 1 in 4 kids in the United States is childhood illiteracy.
- According to UNICEF, “Nearly a billion people will enter the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names and two thirds of them are women.”
- Begin To Read states that
- 2/3 of children who cannot read by the end of the fourth grade will end up in jail or on welfare
- One child in 4 grows up not being able to read
Not only is childhood illiteracy a problem that kids may see every day, but it is one where kids can make a big impact towards helping.
Firstbook.org is a non-profit organization that dedicated itself to changing the world through the power of children’s books. They do this by providing new books to children in need, and they seem to be doing a great job of it. As of the date this was written they have joined the fight against illiteracy by distributing over 110 million books to 90,000 schools and programs. They have more compelling data to back up their plight against illiteracy. With more than 30 million children living below the poverty level in the United States they have found that over 70% of the children they followed showed increased home literacy activities after receiving books from First Book.
All that being said First Book offers the ability to launch your own virtual book drive to raise money to buy books for impoverished kids, and you can even chose if you want it to be dedicated to your own community or wherever it is needed the most. This is an excellent way to harness your energy around a worthwhile cause and a platform already established.
First book is just one idea to help fight childhood illiteracy. There are many other things that can be done. You could volunteer with a local group that tutors disadvantaged kids, and help them directly. You could also start your own community book exchange, giving your community a way to rally around fighting illiteracy by donating their used books for others to take for free.
Childhood illiteracy is a huge problem facing the US as well as the world, and a great opportunity for kids community service. Please engage at some level with a project of any kind whether it is this cause or another. You have the choice to do nothing or to help. Please choose to help, click on the button below to apply for a $100 grant to help get your project off the ground.