Research has shown that exposure to books and time spent reading with caregivers are vital for early childhood development, and important predictors of future literacy skills.
For many children, the books that they receive from The Reading Tree are the first they have ever owned. In many low-income communities, there is an average of just one book for every 300 children. Through our “Prescription for Reading” and “Growing with Books” programs, The Reading Tree gives away more than 20,000 books per year to the children in San Francisco who need them most. This is significant because the impact of childhood illiteracy is deeply troubling: two-thirds of students who cannot read proficiently by the end of the fourth grade will end up in jail or on welfare. We therefore seek to strengthen our community by giving the most at-risk kids a chance for a brighter and more successful future.