Up With Books is delivering 1,000 book bags to children of low-income families to keep them reading through the summer. The Every Summer Has a Story reading program was created to give books to children most at risk for learning setback to have in their homes. This program provides children with a drawstring backpack filled with five-eight books, coloring books, crayons, and other educational materials. Generous donations from the DCU Kids Foundation, Hachette Book Group, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt have enabled Up With Books to give out more than 7,000 books this summer.
Children from low-income families lose valuable reading skills during the summer due to lack of access to books. Providing children with books allows them to gain, rather than lose, reading skills. Children who lose reading ability over the summer rarely catch up. “Creating a steady supply of new, age-appropriate books has been shown to dramatically increase interest in reading within months,” said Co-founder Ashley DeFreitas. Twin sister and Co-founder, Paige DeFreitas added, “Our goal is to encourage and inspire a love of reading and establish lifelong learners.” A lack of academic achievement is a key reason 8,000 students drop out of high school every year. Education is one step to break the cycle of poverty many of these children are faced with. When children are given equal opportunities to succeed, the whole community benefits, and a great place to start is having books to read at home.
To generate awareness, Up With Books hosts fundraisers throughout the year, including an upcoming fundraiser with the Lowell Spinners on July 20. To join in the battle against illiteracy, or to learn more about this programs, visit upwithbooks.org or call 508-284-7130.