Like one out of every three Springfield kids, six-year-old Marco lives in poverty. And while summer is supposed to be a time of fun and adventure, Marco’s summer will mainly be focused on survival. He’ll spend time playing with friends on his block, but his mom worries about crime and drugs in the neighborhood, so a lot of Marco’s time will be spent indoors, watching TV.
In a few weeks, Marco’s teachers will say goodbye to him for the summer, saying “Be sure to read every day!”
They say it with good reason: Whether kids read over the summer will largely determine if their reading ability slips over the summer, or, like their middle-income peers, if it actually improves.
But like 61% of children in poverty, Marco doesn’t have any children’s books at his house. None. And because his mom has so much on her plate and doesn’t have a car, he won’t be going to the library. And so that admonishment to read every day? Not likely to happen for Marco.
But there’s some good news: The research shows that reading just four or five books in a summer can keep kids at their reading level. And the even better news is that God can use you and me to help get books into kids’ hands this summer at Camp Boost Summer Reading Clubs (click the link for how you can join the Camp Boost team!)
See, when Marco comes to a week of free reading clubs in his neighborhood this summer, not only is he going to have a great time, and not only is he going to read and learn while he’s there, we’re going to send him home with a stack of kids’ books that he gets to pick himself.
How can you help? The first is to gather up any unused children’s books collecting dust at your house and bring them to Jackson, Lytle, and Lewis Life Celebration Center by June 30. And if you don’t have any kids’ books to donate, here are a few more ideas:
1) Right click the photo below and share it on Facebook or Twitter. (Or just share this whole article.)
2) Head up a small book drive with your church, small group, or at your job.
3) Keep an eye out at garage sales, and pick up children’s books whenever you see them.
4) Stop over at Clark County Public Library’s annual book sale June 13-14 for some book bargains.
Let’s get the “book train” rolling for Marco and hundreds of other kids like him this summer! Your help can make a huge difference!