You may have heard the story that went viral recently of a young boy who asked the mailman for junk mail to read because he had no books, his family had no car, and he couldn’t afford the bus fare to go to the library. Fortunately, his story has a happy ending: after the mailman posted about the boy on Facebook, people from all over the world started sending books to help build his personal library.
Unfortunately, far too many children are living in poverty as this boy is. In fact, according to the National Center for Children in Poverty, approximately 45% of children in the US live in low income families and one in five lives below the poverty line. Where there is poverty, typically there is illiteracy and vice versa. Poverty is a difficult problem to solve, but we believe that focusing on literacy and bringing books to all is a good place to start.
That is why we’re excited about the US Government’s new Open eBooks initiative and the ConnectED Library Challenge which will digitally connect low-income students with eBooks from the nation’s 16,500 public libraries. The goal is to help children develop a deep love of reading, discovery, and learning. Of course, we at Budding Reader are all for that.