Feed the Children, a leading nonprofit focused on alleviating childhood hunger, is distributing more than 275,000 books to Title I schools and community partners across the nation during National Reading Month. The initiative stretches beyond the organization’s traditional work to feed hungry bellies, it will feed young minds. In total, the nonprofit will distribute 13 truckloads of books valued at more than $4 million during this initiative.
Feed the Children believes it’s more important than ever to get books into the hands of students across America. The nonprofit will deliver books to schools across the country, reaching students as far west as Los Angeles, east to Baltimore, Md.; north to Detroit, Mich. and south to Dallas, Texas. In addition, Feed the Children is also collaborating with various Tribal Nations, as well as with school systems and community partners in underserved, rural communities, to deliver a variety of age-appropriate books.
“We received the books. Truly amazing! They are wonderful - such an assortment from preschool to adult literature. We are overjoyed with gratitude,” said assistant principal, Misty Lopez, M.Ed., Blackwater Community School in Arizona.
These distributions are just one way Feed the Children is working to get books into the hands of students. Each year since 2012, the organization has distributed books to educators in Title I schools through its five Teacher Store locations.
A recent study by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) revealed that an additional 100 million children are falling behind the minimum proficiency level in reading, due to COVID-related school closures.
According to the report, younger students and students attending high-poverty (Title I) schools saw some of the largest declines.
Reading fluency is fundamental for academic development because problems with this skill can interfere with students’ ability to learn other subjects as they make their way through later grades. It also has immediate and long-lasting health benefits such as increased cognitive function, memory, vocabulary, and decreased levels of stress.
“Good reading habits can lead to academic success, and we are proud to be working with schools and partners across the nation to get books into the hands of children,” said Travis Arnold, president and CEO, Feed the Children. “At Feed the Children we understand the importance of education and believe it is one of the best ways to break the cycle of poverty.”
National Reading Month is designed to encourage Americans of all ages to read every day. It also challenges everyone to read and engage with children to make reading a more fun and interactive experience.