In most corners of America, indeed in most corners of the world, children are taught the importance of reading at an early age. The ability to read and comprehend is a vital component for survival and provides the cornerstone for building a successful future. As with any skill, those learning to read must have proper tools to master reading comprehension and fluency. Books draw students into stories and pique their interest to engage them in the process of reading.
Students in America typically have access to books in schools, in libraries, and in their homes. However, many schools do not have adequate resources for libraries or to provide books for students in the classroom. And sadly, many students do not have books at home to read. From urban inner cities to rural farmlands and everywhere in between, there are children in this country who have never owned their own copy of a book. How can we expect students to master a skill that is so vitally important to them if we do not provide the tools with which they can master that skill? For the purpose of learning to read, there is nothing more beneficial for students than holding an actual book in their hands.
Literacy Matters Foundation strives to promote literacy and encourage reading one student at a time. We believe that not only should every child learn to read, but every child should have their own books to practice and promote reading. It is our goal to ensure that children have an opportunity to have at least one book that they can call their very own. Literacy Matters Foundation solicits applications from Title I schools and other education organizations in both urban and rural communities to acquire books for their students in need. Once a school or organization has been identified and accepted by the Foundation, early readers at the school will each receive a copy of a book specifically designed to help propel new readers forward in their reading skills. What makes the Literacy Matters Foundation unique is that in addition to providing books for the students, the Foundation will offer to arrange for the author of the books to spend a day (or portion of a day) on-site at the school or with the organization. The Foundation and the author will work with the school or organization to integrate the author into a learning experience for the students, including but not limited to book readings, book signings, creative writing sessions, developing artwork for stories, and active listening lessons. Not only will the students receive their own copy of a book, but they will also meet the author through an engaging and fun learning experience.
In addition to providing books for students, it is important that adults have tools to promote and teach literacy to children. Literacy Matters Foundation has literacy curriculum and tools available for teachers and parents to provide support for their students. Literacy Matters Foundation trainers will work closely with both parents and teachers to train them on the importance of early childhood literacy and provide coaching and professional development to integrate literacy throughout the school day and home life. Both teachers and parents seeking resources to work with children who are struggling readers will have access to materials to support their early readers.