The Issue: Learning Disadvantage for Children Born Into Poverty
By age four, 90% of a child's brain is developed, according to a report by United Way. However, children born into poverty hear approximately 30 million fewer words by the time they're three years old than their peers from socio-economically stable backgrounds. Furthermore, children from underserved families have a 48% chance of educational success—a rate that falls to 10% if the child's mind isn't supported by reading and creative play. Giving children access to stimulating and educational books can dramatically improve their chances of success.
The Campaign: Providing Books for Young Children
All donations to this Grassroots campaign will be used by Focus: HOPE to help improve literacy in young children. For every $10 raised, Focus: HOPE can purchase two age-appropriate books for its Center for Children and related youth-literacy activities. Children will have a chance to read these books at academic summer camps, where they can build their reading and writing skills and prepare for school in the fall, and hear them read aloud during the library's reading programs.
Every month, Focus: HOPE provides regular food assistance to 5,000 mothers and children and 37,000 senior citizens across southeast Michigan. This means that since 1971 the organization has donated more than 501 million meals to ensure all community members have access to food. To do this, volunteers work alongside staff at four food centers, where people experiencing hunger can shop for nutritious items and produce for free. At Focus: HOPE’s central warehouse, meanwhile, volunteers assemble boxes of food to distribute to homebound seniors. And during the holidays, Focus: HOPE also distributes a special package of holiday food to the seniors in its program.
Yet Focus: HOPE isn't only focused on hunger. The center also aims to end the cycle of poverty through educational programming and career preparation. Since it began down this path in 1981, the organization has empowered nearly 12,000 people to obtain successful, satisfying careers while assisting high-school students in STEM courses and boosting the literacy rate of younger children.