The Facts are Astounding

Our children deserve equal opportunities to succeed. We know that reading opens doors to learning and creativity that are unparalleled. By providing every first-grader with a new book every month of the school year, all first-graders will be able to experience the enjoyment and excitement of a brand new book to take home, keep, and read over and over again.

  • 50% of children from low-income communities start first grade up to two years behind their peers.
    – Brizius, J. A., & Foster S. A. (1993). Generation to Generation: Realizing the Promise of Family Literacy. High/Scope Press.
  • Nationally, only 35% of public school students were at or above Proficient in grade 4 reading.
    – National Assessment of Educational Progress (2017) retrieved from https://www.nationsreportcard.gov
  • Creating a steady stream of new, age-appropriate books has been shown to nearly triple interest in reading within months.
    – Harris, Louis. An Assessment of the Impact of First Book’s Northeast Program. January 2003.
  • Children growing up in homes with at least twenty books get three years more schooling than children from bookless homes, independent of their parents’ education, occupation, and class.
    – Evans, M. D., Kelley, J., Sikora, J., & Treiman, D. J. (2010). Family scholarly culture and educational success: Books and schooling in 27 nations. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 28(2), 171-197.
  • 61% of low-income families have no books at all in their homes for their children.
    – Reading Literacy in the United States: Findings from the IEA Reading Literacy Study. (1996).
  • There is almost a 90% probability that a child will remain a poor reader at the end of the fourth grade if the child is a poor reader at the end of first grade.
    – Boyer, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
  • In fact, low achievement as early as fourth grade is a powerful predictor of high school and college graduation rates, as well as lifetime earnings.
    McKinsey & Company (April 2009).
    – The Economic Impact of the Achievement Gap in America’s schools. Washington, D.C.

A Healthier, Stronger Future for Maine

Reading opens doors. Reading improves focus and learning. Reading encourages creativity.

  • Strong literacy promotes wellbeing and self-worth.
  • Low literacy is associated with many negative health outcomes: increased hospitalizations, difficulty managing chronic conditions and disease, and higher mortality rates.
  • Literacy is important to economic development and essential in building skills for our future workforce.
  • Because every child deserves to smile and to feel supported.