Turn the pages of a children’s book and you’ll be transported to an amazing new world. But millions of underpriveleged children don’t have access to this simple, joyful escape. According to The Heart of America Foundation, sixty-one percent of children in low-income families don’t own a single book. Let’s start filling up their home libraries and their dreams.
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
Growing up in rural Tennessee, Dolly had only one book as a child, The Little Engine That Could. Inspire her, it did. Each month her foundation sends one brand new book to every preschool child in a low-income community. Think of a child’s excitement to find a new book in their mailbox every month until they turn five! The program starts with The Little Engine That Could and finishes with Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come. Visit the Imagination Library site for information on how to start this program in your area.
Reach Out and Read
Reach Out and Read (ROR) is a national non-profit organization that promotes early literacy. Working with pediatricians around the US, they distribute new books and educate parents on the benefits of reading aloud to young children.
Books From The Heart
This program finds books that are not being used and donates them to families and school libraries in need. Visit the site to start your own local book drive, adopt a school library, donate your own new and gently used books, or make a monetary donation.
The Little Red Wagon Foundation
Zachary Bonner is an amazing 5th grader who walked nearly 300 miles last fall to bring awareness to the plight of homeless children. He collects donations to help feed homeless families and to provide street kids with backpacks, school supplies, and new books. He plans to walk another 300 miles from Talahassee to Atlanta this October. Check out this inspiring, dedicated young man.
Reading is Fundamental (RIF)
The oldest and largest non-profit literacy organization in the US lets underpriveleged children choose a new book three times a year via the RIF book fair. The cost to provide one child with books and literacy programs for an entire year is just $10.
Do you have a favorite children’s book charity? Please share it by leaving a comment!