Once you realize how many kids in America are not learning how to read – and the lifelong
impact of not being able to do so – you, like many others, may want to help. Are there things you can do or
ways you can help to ensure that as many children as possible have the opportunity to learn how to read?
Actually, yes! This "Literacy Launcher" idea is just one of the basic,
straightforward ways you can promote literacy and make a difference in your community.
Collect and donate books
Here's a simple idea – collect new or gently used children's books and donate them to a local daycare,
preschool, homeless shelter, elementary school, afterschool program, or Boys and Girls Club. Research has shown that kids
need a "print-rich" environment. Children with low literacy levels often do not have written materials in their homes. As much as
possible, we should surround children with books and magazines so they have an opportunity to pick these materials up, look at the
pictures, and see reading as a natural part of their lives.
You can contribute on your own, perhaps as part of your holiday giving. Consider donating a book,
children's magazine subscription, or bookstore gift certificate to a daycare or elementary school class. Or better yet, get a group
involved. A book drive makes an excellent project for a Girl Scout or Boy Scout troop, church group, or other service
Plan your donation
Whatever you decide, be sure to think your donation through. Choose an organization you wish to benefit, but also make sure
your donation will be welcome there. Work closely with the teachers or leaders of the organization to come up with a list of
books that are appropriate for those children. Try to consult lists of recommended books like those on the Reading Rockets
You or your group may want to write a dedication on the inside front cover of the donated books. You could also take the
extra step of helping the organization find an open, appealing spot to place the books so kids can easily find and use
them – after all, books in boxes don't help anyone!
Click here to see more Literacy Launchers>>
Maybe you have other ideas for how to encourage reading in your community. If so, send
them to firstname.lastname@example.org.