Reading is one of the most powerful tools we have for promoting healthy childhood development and long-lasting educational benefits. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends daily reading as a key part of a healthy childhood.
Research has proven that having access to books improves reading performance and children’s attitudes towards reading. In fact, the number of books in a child’s home is one of the most important predictors of her educational attainment. Access to books is particularly critical for children living in poverty.
- Low-income children hear 30 million fewer words by the age of five than their more affluent peers.
- Research has shown that over 60% of low-income families have no children’s books in the home.
- In 2013, 58.5% of Detroit children lived below the poverty line.
- Over 1,000,000 Michigan children live in low-income and poor families.
Early reading gaps can have life-long consequences. Only 19% of low-income and poor children in Michigan are reading proficiently by the third grade, which is the single highest predictor of high-school graduation and a successful career.
All our children deserve the opportunity to read and succeed. Rx for Reading Detroit works to eliminate the opportunity gap by fostering childhood reading for all children.
Since 2014 Rx for Reading has distributed over 2,000 children’s books a month with the help of our community partners, including low-income health and dental clinics, Head Start programs, local schools, and homeless shelters. We are particularly committed to purchasing books with diverse characters so that ALL kids can see themselves represented in literature.
Read more about our work at our blog.
Rx for Reading Detroit is sponsored by the University of Detroit Mercy and housed under the university’s 501c-3 non-profit status. All donations to Rx for Reading are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.