Every Summer Has a Story
For many, summer is a time of relaxation; but for children living in poverty, Summer months present a threat. Children from low-income households lose reading skills during Summer break because they lack access to books in their homes. The Every Summer Has a Story reading program will provide new books for low-income children.
Up With Books began the Every Summer Has a Story reading program to serve children most at risk for learning setback. Through this program, each participant receives a backpack filled with six to eight age-appropriate books, coloring books, bookmarks, notebooks, and a pencil pouch filled with school supplies. Evidence-based literacy education material is included in each bag.
At Up With Books, our goal is to develop an interest in reading and establish lifelong learners. Children growing up in homes with at least twenty books tend to get three years more schooling than children from homes without books. COVID-19 has impacted many children as schools and libraries have closed, further diminishing their access to reading materials.
Low-income homes have one book for every three hundred children versus thirteen books per child in middle-income homes. Studies have shown that access to books in the home allows positive attitude toward reading and learning. Creating a steady stream of new, age-appropriate books has been shown to nearly triple interest in reading within months.
Children from low-income households lsoe reading skills during Summer break because they lack access to books in their homes and will suffer from lower school achievement that their middle-class piers. One of the largest contributors to this disparity is the lack of continued learning during the summer. Studies have shown that providing children with books for summer reading allows them to gain, rather than lose, reading skills over the summer. Students who lose reading ability over the summer rarely catch up. Over time, the summer learning slide can add up to the equivalent of three years of reading loss by the end of fifth grade.
Up With Books strives to empower low-income children to close the reading achievement gap, which provides them with the opportunity to overcome the cycle of poverty. When children are given equal opportunities to succeed, the whole community benefits. The chance to learn and excel at reading is the start of an educational process that can help bring them out of poverty. By continuing their education, whether graduating high school or continuing on to college, they will be better prepared to assist their children in being successful in school as well.
A lack of academic achievement is a key reason students drop out of high school, as well as a feeling of helplessness and hopelessness. More than 8,000 children quit high school every day. Those who do not have a high school diploma will earn less than those who do, and significantly less than those with a college degree. In addition, 78% of juvenile crime is committed by high school drop outs, and 75% of prison inmates do not have a high school diploma.
Up With Books believes that every summer has a story. For children living in poverty, that story can be one of lost opportunity. We invite you to join us in helping children write a different story for themselves. Together, we can help children experience a summer of growth and overcome barriers to learning by putting books into the hands and hearts of children in need.