New data released by the Census Bureau in October revealed that 43 million Americans are now living in poverty, the largest figure since the Bureau began collecting this information.
Incredibly, the one group of Americans bearing the brunt of this crisis is children. According to the new statistics, 15 million American children are living in poverty, many of whom are falling behind because they aren’t getting the same opportunities to succeed as other children. You may be surprised to learn that half of all low-income fourth graders are not reading at grade level. Books are essential for learning and development, but 60 percent of children in poverty have no age-appropriate books in their homes.
Save the Children’s U.S. Programs work to break the cycle of poverty by tapping into the power of public-private partnerships and giving children access to the resources they need to change their circumstances, such as a quality education, supportive instructors, and essential books for learning.
Through the support of the Scholastic Book Clubs’ Classrooms Care campaign and our longtime partnerships with local schools and communities, Save the Children has been able to provide kids living in some of the most impoverished areas of the United States with more than 2.5 million books during the past 20 years.
Our partnership works. Kids read an average of 64 books throughout the school year in our literacy programs and the percentage of children reading at or above grade level nearly doubled from the start of the school year to the end.
Education is the vehicle out of poverty. By providing kids with the tools to learn now we’re setting them on the pathway to lifelong success. America’s future depends on the investment we make in education today.Mark Shriver Senior Vice President for U.S. Programs Save the Children