There is something special about opening a good book with pages ready to take us on an adventure, teach us something new, or stir up curiosity. Reading serves not only as a fun hobby, but a pivotal tool for learning. While school and community libraries provide an important resource for accessing books, having books of your own can have a significant impact.
Through United Way of Treasure Valley’s Annual Book Drive, our community comes together to help get books in the hands of children and families who need them. Supporting families in building at-home libraries helps create opportunities for lasting memories made through quality time spent together around a good story.
Access to books has been found to be of particular benefit to young children. Research from the organization Reading is Fundamental demonstrates that “Giving children access to print materials is associated with positive behavioral, educational, and psychological outcomes.” Their findings note that providing print materials such as books to children can increase a child’s reading performance and skill development as well as build positive attitudes toward reading and learning.
The benefits of having books can be strengthened even more when families spend time reading those books together. The Children’s Reading Foundation notes that in addition to positive academic impact, reading with children can lead to “greater self-esteem, empathy, and confidence,” and “stronger, closer relationships”.
We know that families experiencing financial hardship must make hard decisions to meet basic needs. When resources are limited, families may not be able to purchase books and miss the opportunity for these significant impacts found through having books available at home.
You can make this impact possible by sharing the simple joy of a book. Maybe you have a few books on your shelf that you have already read and are ready to pass on to a new reader. Perhaps you have a floppy-covered, crinkly-paged childhood favorite that you’d like to buy new copies of for other young children to enjoy over and over again. Whether new or gently used, we invite you to gather books, drop them off at one of our community collection points in your neighborhood June 6th through 17th, and encourage your friends and colleagues to do to the same!
Want to do more to help? Sign-up to volunteer at our Book Bash June 21st and 22nd to clean, sort, and pack books to get them ready to be distributed to kids and families eager to enjoy their new books.