Why Read Early And Daily?
  •  The US Chamber of Commerce Foundation reports that by age 9 months developmental gaps have been observed between higher- and lower-income infants. 

  • Low-income children often live in areas known as “book deserts” where there is only 1 book per 300 children.

  • As a result, these children are arriving to school having heard 30 million fewer words than upper income children, resulting in cognitive scores on average 60 percent lower than peers.

  • Nobel Prize Economist James Heckman has shown that children who arrive at school behind their peers will always stay behind peers.

  • Having books in the home and being read to at an early age are the two most important predicators of school success, regardless of parent income or education level.  

Needs in Northern Virginia
  • Although Northern Virginia has abundant resources compared to the rest of the state, according to Virginia Kids Count, 1 out of 5 children in NOVA live in poverty or near-poverty.

  • Virginia Kids Count also reports that NOVA kindergartners not passing the kindergarten readiness assessment has increased not decreased in the past few years; 22% kindergartners in Alexandria did not pass the PALS assessment last year.

  • Between 30-40% percent of eco- nomically disadvantaged NOVA children did not pass the state Standards of Learning reading test. A child reading below grade level in 3rd grade is four times more likely not to graduate from high school.

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