Did you know that in high-income homes in the U.S., children have access to approximately 200 age-appropriate books to enjoy? In middle-income homes the average is about 60 books. In lower-income homes, 60% of children have access to zero books.
During the week of our MB Book Festival, Paige Clausius-Parks, the Assistant Director of Pawtucket-based Books Are Wings, visited our middle schoolers during our weekly Meeting for Worship to share these figures and inspire us to help other young readers through a fundraiser and book drive. A group of our eighth graders then presented to our lower school students about the program, which led to a middle school-lower school collaboration that collected close to 600 books and over $350 dollars. This effort will help to ensure that students in Providence, Pawtucket and Central Falls elementary and middle schools will enter summer break with books to enjoy. During the months of May and June, Books are Wings volunteers will be holding “book parties” in these schools for students to enjoy reading-related arts and crafts activities and then choose two books to take home with them.
Research has shown us that when children who do not read over the summer return to school in the fall, they lose two entire months of instructional time while having to re-learn forgotten material. We are so proud of all of our middle schoolers for sharing their love of reading with others and helping other kids grow their own love of reading.