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

“Giving light. Changing lives” by helping children in poverty learn to read

What were your favorite books as a child? Imagine a childhood without the wonderment of reading. Far too many children in our community and across the country face growing up without a single book of their own. Yet research shows that children who are read to frequently do better in school.

Together, Scripps employees and members of the Scripps family are putting books in the hands of children in need. As part of our “If you give a child a book …” campaign, they recently made gifts to the Scripps Howard Foundation to purchase brand new books by donating online

For the third consecutive year, Scripps Howard Foundation and Scripps local and national brands will give away the free books on National Reading Day, Jan. 23. Scripps brands selected nonprofits and Title 1 schools in their communities to distribute the books to ensure they go to children who need them most.

100,000 books + $100,000 in grants

In the program's first two years, Scripps Howard Foundation and employees of The E.W. Scripps Company have donated more than 100,000 new books to children facing poverty in their communities. Each location selects schools or nonprofits to distribute the books.

To further the organizations’ work, the Scripps Howard Foundation has awarded $100,000 in childhood literacy grants since 2017. On Jan. 23, 2019, we will award grants of $10,000 each to five nonprofits across the country.

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.”