Putting Kids on a Pathway to Success

15 Nov

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
Photo Credit: Save the Children/Susan Warner

6 Responses to “Putting Kids on a Pathway to Success”

  1. T. Lindsey November 15, 2010 at 4:04 pm #

    Thank you for this post. The generational dedication of the Shriver family here in the state of Maryland is to be commended. It comes as no surprise that their understanding of the basic roots of poverty begin at an early age, by lack of access to educational opportunities. The inability to read can cripple a child for life.

    Having volunteered for many years with my Cousin Michael’s Foundation, Mac’. Miracle Fund, I saw first hand the reality of a lack of reading material that was age appropriate for children in the Baltimore Police Athletic League Aftersschool programs at their Centers.

    Thankfully, an organization called Baltimore Reads was available to stand in the gap. Every month, I could go and pick up a selection of gently used books for all age ranges to then distribute to the Centers. Some days I walked out with well over 200 quality books. As you become familiar with personnel, we were able to increase that amount to the point that we began to let the children pick and choose what they wished to keep.

    But the Centers in Baltimore were closed by the city, leaving many children cut off from the influence of the Officers (many of whom had been at their respective Centers for years), and Afterschool activities.

    I have always believed the ability to read can open the world to a child. The knowledge that their are other reading programs such as Classrooms Care and the Longstanding Save the Children’s focus on education is heartening. Thank you, Mr. Shriver, and your family for all you do in Maryland, not just with Special Olympics-Maryland which I and my family have also worked with in the past, but to enrich the lives of children everywhere.


    The Lindsey Family

    • lorraine5 November 15, 2010 at 9:23 pm #

      Thank you for taking the time to comment. And you should be commended for your work. Clearly we share a passion for childhood literacy. If you want to learn more about ClassroomsCare, then go to classroomscare.scholastic.com

      Lorraine Langdon
      ClassroomsCare Manager

  2. betsykocsis November 16, 2010 at 11:34 am #

    I was wondering about the classroom care program where the children read so many books and then there is a donation for children who need books.

  3. Mrs. Sulte December 2, 2010 at 9:15 am #

    Hi Mrs. H and Class

    I hope your reading challenge is going strong. I was so impressed when I heard what you are doing. Keep reading!


  1. Baby Got Books » Friday Links - November 19, 2010

    […] reports on the effects of poverty and literacy and a Readers’ Digest poll finds that 1-in-20 kids reports never having read a book.  […]

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