A significant marker for educational success occurs when most children are only 8-9 years old. How well a child reads at the end of third grade can affect the rest of their education.
Through third grade, students are learning to read. Beginning in fourth grade, students are reading to learn-using their reading skills to gain information, solve problems and think critically. A child who can't read at grade level by third grade is four times less likely to graduate from high school. If this same child lives in poverty, 13 times less likely to graduate.
The arrival of COVID-19 has further exposed the educational disparities for children in our most economically challenged neighborhoods. The June 2020 study by McKinsey & Company estimates that “while the average loss of learning due to the pandemic is nearly seven months, black students could fall behind by 10.3 months, Hispanic students by 9.2 months, and low-income students by more than a year.” The McKinsey report notes that this will likely exacerbate existing achievement gaps by 15-20%.
The Scripps Howard Foundation is "Giving light. Changing lives" for children in need nationwide through its "If You Give a Child a Book … " campaign.
Here at KSBY, we have partnered with two Title One school's in Santa Maria, one in Oceano and another in San Miguel, to help provide the books they need for their students. Arellanes Elementary School, Bonita Elementary, Oceano Elementary and Lillian Larson Elementary will be a part of our "Big Book Giveaway" in January as we partner with Scholastic to turn all the community donations into books for children who need them most.
The campaign begins Monday, Aug. 30, and lasts through Friday, Sept. 10. The Scripps Howard Foundation will be matching donations, so make sure to donate early to ensure your pledge is being doubled!
Employees here at KSBY began the campaign internally in early August to help support the children at the four local elementary schools, and in total raised $2,854.
The program has distributed over 500,000 books and generated over 90 million reading minutes since its inception.
To donate, click here. Or text KSBY to 345345. Message and data rates may apply.