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November 12, 2014

Six-year-old shares his joy of reading with other kids

Ben is six years old and an avid reader. After learning more about Reading Partners, he felt compelled to give back and share his joy of reading with other kids.

On a sunny fall day, Ben and his family decided to make a visit to the Baltimore Book Festival. The Book Festival is a fun, annual event for kids, families, and “lit lovers” in Baltimore that promotes literacy in the “City that Reads.” Local organizations, book sellers, authors, storytellers, and more flood the inner harbor with literary excitement.

When Ben stopped by the Reading Partners table, he noticed the signs on a book donation box, Ben asked, “Why are you collecting books?”

The Reading Partners team explained that Reading Partners helps kids improve their reading skills and after every tutoring session students get to take home a book that is theirs to keep. The team went on to explain that for many of these kids, these are the only books they have (in fact, 61% of low-income students have no children’s books at home)1 and it’s really important to practice reading at home.

When Ben found out that lots of children his age don’t have enough books, he wanted to do something to help.

Ben asked his parents if he could buy books to give to Reading Partners students. His parents happily agreed and took Ben to a local bookstore to pick out some interesting books. The books were so interesting, in fact, that Ben had to test them out and read them before bringing them by our office.

Ben hand picked and donated enough books to supply one student with “take reading home” books throughout the whole year!

Thanks to Ben’s generosity, students in Baltimore will have wonderful books to start their very own home libraries.

Donating books is a simple way to contribute to the early literacy movement. Studies show, “having as few as 20 books in the home has a significant impact on propelling a child to a higher level of education, and the more books you add, the greater the benefit.”2

If you are interested in donating books to Reading Partners. Please reach out to a regional site coordinator, program coordinator, or Reading Partners office.

1The Campaign for Grade Level Reading,

2M.D.R. Evans, Jonathan Kelley, Joanna Sikora, Donald J. Treiman. Family scholarly culture and educational success: Books and schooling in 27 nations. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 2010; DOI: 10.1016/j.rssm.2010.01.002

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