The Issue: Youth Not Meeting Basic Reading Proficiency
In 2011, only about 48% of fourth graders in Chicago achieved reading test scores at or above the basic level, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics. Due to limited resources, many of these children have little access to age-appropriate books at home or school. Without the proper materials, their chances of improving their reading skills are greatly reduced. Yet even a few books at home can have a positive effect on educational attainment, according to a report from the Journalism Center on Children & Families.
The Campaign: Providing a Year of Books to Youth
All donations to this Grassroots campaign will be used by Children’s Home + Aid to provide children with a year’s worth of new books. For every $100 raised, the organization will be able to provide one child with a Raising a Reader kit—including books, bags, and other materials—for one year. The Raising a Reader program trains parents to engage with their children and teach them literacy skills from a young age. Every week, children up to age five bring home age-appropriate books and materials for reading aloud with their parents. Over the course of the year, children should have a rotating supply of up to 100 different books. The program also connects families with local libraries and, at the end of the year, children receive blue Raising a Reader bags to encourage them to continue borrowing books.
Children’s Home + Aid
As a leading Illinois family- and child-service agency, Children’s Home + Aid serves more than 40,000 children and families each year through its child-development and -care programs, family counseling, and foster-care-advocacy programs. The organization's roots extend back to 1883, when the Reverend Van Arsdale brought into his home a young girl whose mother was in crisis. The minister's umbrella of care soon spread throughout the country, as he established advisory boards and worked to improve child welfare. Today, Children's Home + Aid focuses on early childhood and juvenile justice, preventing child abuse, and garnering positive child development in strong families.
The organization’s Raising A Reader program helps children ages 3-5 get "kindergarten-ready" by developing early language and literacy abilities. Much of this work incorporates full parental involvement; facilitators encourage parent-child bonding through everything from bedtime stories to engaging, brain-building activities. Currently helping more than 350 children develop these necessary scholastic skills, the Illinois chapter is just part of a larger national trend; in 2011, the national Raising a Reader program touched the lives of almost 118,000 kids across 32 states.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand at the Groupon Grassroots blog.