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Why I’m Helping Local Kids Get Books #NickCFK #CBias

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Long ago, I once read that there’s a correlation between how well kids do in school and the amount of books in their homes. If a child has access to more books and develops an interest in reading, it will help them with learning and studying. If a child doesn’t have books readily available, it’s hard to expect them to love reading, right?

Did you know…

Students who do more reading at home are better readers and have higher math scores. Students with more types of reading materials in the home also demonstrate greater reading proficiency.

-via Champions for Kids

My parents were not big readers themselves, but they read to me starting at an early age. This in turn led to me learning to read at about 3 years old. We were a low income family, so books were certainly an extra expense that didn’t always fit into the budget. The reality is a lot of low income families have to choose to spend their money on basic needs which may not leave any spending money for books. Sure, there are libraries where they can borrow books, but depending on time and location that may not be feasible for them either.

Did you know…

61% of low-income families have no books for children in their homes, and more than 80% of the preschool and after-school programs serving at-risk children have no books at all.

-via Champions for Kids

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Rissa loves picking out books!

Time for a Book Drive!

When I see how happy books make my daughter it saddens me to think about other children going without. It is so important to encourage reading at an early age! This month’s Champions for Kids SIMPLE Service project is the Nickelodeon Big Help Book Drive in order to donate books to a local organization that helps children and families in need.

She had to read her new book on the way home!

Brian, Rissa and I went shopping for some books to donate. I picked out some Dora and Spongebob books – familiar characters are exciting for kids! I even replaced one of Rissa’s favorite (and very tattered) books while we were there. It was hard to tell her all of these weren’t for her! You can check out our entire shopping trip at Walmart in my Google+ photo album.

As I thought about where to donate, I asked my friends on Facebook for ideas some ideas. Head Start, Fire Stations, and the Children’s Hospital were among the suggestions. I went to Head Start – how could I have overlooked that option? So, I did a search for the local Head Start office and began planning a mini-book drive. (I say mini only because of the length of time I’m gathering donations.). As I scrolled down the list of Head Start sites – trying to figure out where I’d deliver the books – I saw the Next Door Foundation of Milwaukee.

I clicked through to their site, remembering from my case manager days that they offered literacy services. I bet they could make use of book donations! I was thrilled to learn about their Books for Kids program which is all about providing books to children in Milwaukee. Parents or teachers can bring kids there to pick out books. They also list several ways books impact kids:

  • Low-income families have few children’s books in their homes.
  • The number of books in a child’s home correlates significantly with reading achievement.
  • The number of books available to a child plays a role in predicting first grade reading achievement.
  • Reading ability is a strong predictor of success and interest in school.
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We started the donations off with some brand new books!

I’m excited to round up donations of new or gently used children’s books from friends and family and deliver them next week!

Who is in need of books in your community?

Think about a school, church or another organization that could use your help to spread the love of books and reading to kids in your community. Who could you help?

Then put together your own Big Help Book Drive! Find some gently used books in your home and ask family, friends, neighbors and coworkers to pitch in too. After you drop off your donation be sure to tell Champions for Kids about it on their website. Then you’ll join me as one of the millions of people to help Champions for Kids to meet their goal of 20 million people mobilized to make a difference by 2020!

Oh, and come back and tell me in the comments below how many books you collected. Can you collect more than me? Every book counts for the kids!

Wish to connect further with Champions for Kids and Nickelodeon? Find Champions for Kids on Twitter @Champions4Kids and Facebook. Find Nickelodeon on Twitter @nickelodeontvand Facebook.

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Disclosure: I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Champions for Kids. #NickCFK #CBias

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