"If you give a child a book ... "

The Big Book Giveaway

On Jan. 23, National Reading Day, the Scripps Howard Foundation is giving 80,000 new books to children in need across the nation as part of its third annual “If You give a Child a Book ...” literacy campaign.

Scripps’ Local and National Media brands have partnered with low-income schools and local nonprofit groups that work directly with children and families to present the books through the “Big Book Giveaway.”

In celebration of National Reading Day, all donations made to the campaign, up to $25,000, will be matched.

The “If You give a Child a Book ...” campaign gives to communities in which Scripps’ Local and National Media brands are located. You can contribute to the national campaign and toward the $25,000 match here.

180,000 books + $150,000 in grants

In the program's first two years, Scripps Howard Foundation and employees of The E.W. Scripps Company donated more than 100,000 new books to children facing poverty in their communities. Each Scripps market selects low-income schools and nonprofits in their communities to distribute the books to ensure they go to children who need them most.

Since the program’s inception, the Foundation has granted five $10,000 grants annually on National Reading Day, totaling $150,000. As in previous years, five organizations will be surprised on National Reading Day 2019 with an additional $10,000 grant to invest in literacy programs for the communities they serve. Recipients are selected through a competitive application process.

Why do we give books to children living in poverty?

Children living in poverty begin their lives with a host of disadvantages, among them: poor literacy skills. Studies show children who grow up with books in the home enjoy a substantial advantage over children who do not.

A significant marker for educational success occurs when most children are only 8-9 years old when schools administer third-grade reading proficiency tests. How well a child reads at the end of third grade can affect the rest of her education.

Through third grade, students are learning to read. Beginning in fourth grade, students are reading to learn – using their reading skills to gain information, solve problems and think critically.

A child who can’t read at grade level by third grade is four times less likely to graduate from high school. If this same child lives in poverty, she is 13 times less likely to graduate. Throughout the year, the Scripps Howard Foundation provides grants in our community to further nonprofits that are “Giving Light. Changing Lives.”