With all the talk in recent posts about literacy, perhaps it’s fortuitous that an email from First Book showed up in my inbox last night. “The single strongest indicator of a child’s future reading ability has proven to be surprisingly straighforward: the number of books in the home. Quite simply, more access to a wide variety of high-quality books results in more reading,” writes the non-profit’s president, Kyle Zimmer. “A University of Michigan study recently found that in middle-income neighborhoods there are, on average, thirteen books for every child, yet in low-income neighborhoods, there is only one book for every 300 children.”
For those of you unfamiliar with First Book, they work, quite simply, to bring more books to those latter children. And, from now until the end of the year, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing will match every dollar you contribute with a new book, capping their gift when the donations hit $1 million.