Outsmart Poverty through Literacy: Corporate Sponsors and
Imagine your life without the ability to read - really think about it. I posed the question to a group
of children and the response was exactly what you would expect.
"I wouldn't be able to read books and play on the computer. I wouldn't be able to learn. I wouldn't be
able to drive a car. I wouldn't be able to go to work. I would feel stupid. People would make fun of me."
(2018, Fitwize 4 Kids Camp)
That's the reality for one in four children in America. A long-term study by the Annie E. Casey
Foundation found that students who are not reading on grade level by the end of 3rd grade were 4 times more likely to drop out of high school than their reading proficient peers. In addition, 88
percent of students who failed to earn a high school diploma were struggling readers in third grade. These children grow up dependent rather than independent citizens in our country. Investing in
early literacy intervention programs is critical for our children and nation.
Why are so many children struggling with reading and have no desire to read books? How do we draw
children into reading and connecting with books and stories? How do we capture their desire to read and reread the same stories over and over again? How do we build story connections with children
that are so strong that children want to recite storytelling with confidence and expression? How do we close the achievement gap with poverty and minority children?
Think about it - how do you relate to the materials you read? Typically, if what we read is not
meaningful, we will likely not continue reading it, much less retain the information we read. It's the same for kids, if they don’t like something or they perceive it as hard, they don’t do it. As an
early education classroom teacher, I spent years trying to figure out the "secret sauce" that lead to the creation of the nonprofit StoryBook Treasures (SBT).
When trying to find funding for SBT we found nonprofits addressing basic medical, housing and food
needs for children. How can books and reading be more important than that? The data we gathered confirms illiteracy is the underlying problem. If students are not reading on grade level by 3rd
grade they typically do not catch up, leading them to a life sentence of poverty. If you cannot read, you are likely going to be dependent on society for you basic needs, creating and contributing to
a growing cycle of non-readers and a dependent society.
Help us and so many other organizations break the cycle to outsmart poverty through literacy. Let’s
create communities that embrace reading and children who fall in love with books that lead to a life of reading.
I challenge you to become involved, donate and support our children and our nation. Investing in
literacy is an investment in our children and future.
Find out more about StoryBook Treasures or or donate directly to our programs
- Key West, Florida, Monroe County School District, Gerald Adams Elementary
- Milton, Florida, Santa Rosa County District Schools, W.H. Rhodes Elementary
- Gambell, Alaska, Bering Strait School District, Gambell School
- Citrus County School District county wide at all 11 Elementary schools: Lecanto Primary School and
- Sterling, Virginia, The Official Loudoun County Public Schools, Sugarland Elementary, Horizon
Elementary School, Steuart W. Weller Elementary School, and all 10 schools offering the STEP preschool program
- Baltimore City, Maryland, Baltimore City Public Schools, William Paca Elementary #83 Baltimore
- Belle Glade, Florida, The School District of Palm Beach County, Pioneer Park Elementary (Project is
fully funded by JustWorld International❤️)
Las Vegas, Nevada, Clark County School District, Elbert Edwards Elementary