Pop quiz: Name a place in the world with only 1 book for every 300 children.
Low-income areas, right here in the United States.
Shocked? You should be.
Book Trust’s mission is to change that staggering statistic and break the cycle of poverty for a growing number of children. Blue Margin believes in this mission and has been a long-time supporter of Book Trust, both financially and as volunteers.
Last week, Blue Margin employees volunteered at Irish Elementary school, a socio-economically disadvantaged, bi-lingual school in Fort Collins. Our volunteers joined teachers and students to open their highly-anticipated monthly “Book Box.” The students were excited (and the tension mounted as they waited for us to open the box)! There were science books, Batman books, and fairytale books galore. We each then sat with a student to read their books with them. Some books were in Spanish, so the children read to us!
Book Trust, founded right here in Fort Collins, CO, is a charitable organization currently serving 50,000 students in 19 states (and growing). Once per month during the school year, each student is given $7 to choose the book(s) they get to keep. Focusing on book choice is what makes Book Trust unique.
Studies show that children are much more likely to read books they choose, helping them make the critical transition from "learning to read" to "reading to learn." Literacy, in turn, is strongly correlated to overcoming poverty and social disadvantage.
This unique approach teaches students to budget, to read books to their siblings, to build a home library, and most importantly, to improve their reading level. According to Book Trust, “Over a school year, the percentage of Book Trust students reading at grade level jumps from 31 percent to 59 percent.” These results are why we believe in their mission.
If you ever get the chance to take part in a Book Trust event, we highly recommend it. Their vision for literacy is only matched by the kids' enthusiasm for the opening of the coveted Book Box.