Why Supplementary Books?

As we reflect on our journeys, we often find that a cherished book played an influential role in shaping the individuals we’ve become. And that’s the essence of our mission at Books for Classrooms: to create a landscape where children from all walks of life can experience the transformative power of reading.

Bridge the Gap in Access and Opportunity

We're confronted with a stark reality: the inequality in book access between low-income and middle/high-income households. While the latter enjoy the privilege of having 50 books per child, children in low-income homes must share a single book among 300. This discrepancy reverberates beyond the classroom, impacting a child's educational trajectory and future educational success. According to First Book, roughly 30% of school libraries fall short of meeting literacy-rich guidelines, and 54% of educators report having 10 or fewer books per child in their classroom libraries. At Books for Classrooms, we see this as an injustice that demands rectification.

Empowerment Through Literacy

We firmly believe that a child who reads holds the key to a brighter future. The statistics bear witness to this truth: 85% of children in juvenile justice systems struggle with functional illiteracy. Without the ability to read and comprehend, these children face hurdles that hinder personal growth and potential success.

The Path Forward

In 2016, a U.S. Department of Education study laid bare a sobering reality: 32 million American adults are functionally illiterate. This deficiency ripples through society, affecting 21% who read below a 5th-grade level and 19% of high school graduates who are ill-equipped to manage daily tasks. “All students must be able to access, use, and evaluate information to meet the needs and challenges of the twenty-first century. These abilities are a necessary precursor to a sound education and healthy democracy.” NCTE, 2017. Our mission is to disrupt this cycle by equipping classrooms with an abundance of supplemental books.

Empowering Educators, Inspiring Readers

Supplemental books are not just pages bound together; they are catalysts for curiosity, growth, and empathy. A love for reading goes beyond the classroom, permeating every facet of life. Teachers report that students are more likely to engage with and complete a physical book compared to a digital counterpart. Furthermore, studies underscore the role of book-filled surroundings in nurturing strong readers. The American Library Assoc recommends 300-500 books in each classroom with new books added each year. Every classroom needs a robust collection of books written in a variety of genres about many subjects: graphic, novels, verse novels, nonfiction, literature, history, STEM, you never know what will capture a child’s imagination. What was the first book that influenced your life?

Creating a Community of Literacy Champions

The transformative potential of supplemental books doesn't just touch the life of a single child; it extends to families, communities, and beyond. As we curate a collection of high-quality books that champion understanding and empathy, we shape young minds to be empathetic citizens of a diverse world who have learned from the past and are ready for the future.

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