Growing up, you probably had a favorite book you read over and over. Maybe it was Charlotte’s Web … The Very Hungry Caterpillar … or Green Eggs and Ham. The pages were most likely creased and worn, perhaps a corner of the cover torn. But it was your book, and you loved it.
The sad reality is that there are children in our community who don’t have a single book to call their own. They have nothing to read at night under the covers with a flashlight. They don’t have familiar characters to go on adventures with across the pages. In low-income neighborhoods, there is only one age appropriate book for every 300 children. In comparison, middle-income neighborhoods have 13 books for every child.
While libraries do give access to free books, often children cannot make it to the library due to a parent’s work schedule or transportation issues. And the luxury of buying books is simply too expensive when it comes down to paying for rent or reading. However, the Heart of Florida United Way is changing things.
The Day of Action Book Drive began because summer reading loss continues to be a huge obstacle facing school aged children. Over the course of summer months, students can lose up to 25% of their reading proficiency which then takes up to a month of valuable classroom time to rectify.
With spring cleaning under way for many, as you empty closets and shelves, collect your gently used children’s books and bring them to Heart of Florida United Way’s office . To learn more about the Day of Action, visit http://www.hfuw.org/event/day-of-action.
Heart of Florida United Way believes education, both in and out of the classroom, is a lifelong experience and the most influential factor in ensuring a child will grow up to succeed. To help ensure students get the education they deserve, we fund many programs that serve people from cradle through career, such as mentoring and tutoring services, literacy initiatives, food pantries, medical services and clothing. To get help, please call the 2-1-1 Information and Assistance Helpline. For more information about how Heart of Florida United Way invests in education, visit our website.