Access to books is one of the leading barriers to childhood literacy. With so many of our community's children living in poverty, we knew we couldn't make a difference without getting books into the hands of kids and letting them keep the books. 'Meet them where they are' is the foundation on which Boerne Reads was created. Through local social services organizations, crisis facilities, the library and through schools, we have created ways to get books in to the hands of our community's most vulnerable children.
"The only behavior measure that correlates significantly with reading scores is the number of books in the home."The Literacy Crisis: False Claims, Real Solutions
"Children growing up in homes with at least twenty books get three years more schooling than children from bookless homes, independent of their parents’ education, occupation, and class." Evans, M. D., Kelley, J., Sikora, J., & Treiman, D. J.
"Having books in the home is twice as important as the father’s education level." Research in Social Stratification and Mobility
Parents are extremely important to a child's early reading development. By educating families on the importance of reading to their babies and helping them learn to create reading environments in their homes, we are allowing them to give their children the gift of literacy. Regardless of reading levels, parents can help their children develop a love of reading and the habit of reading daily.
'According to the Department of Justice, “The link between academic failure and delinquency, violence, and crime is welding to reading failure.” Statistics back up this claim: 85% of all juveniles who interface with the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate, and over 70% of inmates in America’s prisons cannot read beyond a fourth grade level.' Literacy, Inc.
Research shows that children living in poverty are not as prepared as their middle-income peers when entering kindergarten. To get children more excited about reading, we are working with our school district to get volunteers in classrooms to read to children. We hope to expand the volunteer reading program to summer programs and programs provided at local social services organizations. We find that the shame of illiteracy is greatly reduced when support is given through an organization they already receive help from.
"80% of preschool and after-school programs serving low-income populations have no age-appropriate books for their children." National Reading Association