“Books are a uniquely portable magic.” ― Stephen King
Think back to your favorite childhood book. Remember the feeling you got when it was time to read that story? Maybe you snuggled up with a parent or a sibling while they read aloud. Maybe they used a silly voice for a special character. Did you laugh at the same parts over and over again? Did you have almost the entire thing memorized or have a favorite page?
A single book can be magic.
But in 2017, we learned that for low-income kids in Idaho, only 1 in 300 will know that type of magic. Because only 1 in 300 low-income Idaho kids actually owns a book.
Think about that.
One in 300.
And while United Way of Treasure Valley has certainly moved the dial on that number, there is still work to be done.
Experts are nearly in 100% agreement that babies should regularly experience books as soon as they experience speaking; essentially in the first weeks of life. “Reading aloud to young children is not only one of the best activities to stimulate language and cognitive skills; it also builds motivation, curiosity, and memory.” (source)
But how do you accomplish this goal when you don’t have the one tool you need to be successful? It takes the collective power of a group of caring citizens to create lasting impact, and United Way of Treasure Valley, with the help of Book it Forward Idaho, is leading the charge.
For years, United Way of Treasure Valley has worked tirelessly in the arena of childhood education, and has made it one of their missions to get books into the hands of every low-income child in the Treasure Valley. With nearly 40% of Idaho at or below the poverty line, we understand that the vehicle out of poverty is education. It starts with every child, in every family, in every pocket of our beautiful community, having access to books.
Help us create magic at this year’s 5th Annual United Way of Treasure Valley Book Drive, April 6-12. You can donate books. You can donate your time. You can help to fund our early childhood education projects.