Programs and Best Practice Guides
Books in the home are a must! Again and again, research identifies the number of books in the home as the key to academic and personal success (Evans, et al., 2014; Neuman & Moland, 2016). Children need quality books and a place to keep them so they are readily accessible. Based on these needs, we were inspired to design and manufacture small individual bookcases or “Book Cubbies.” Parents and children paint and decorate the drawer (built to hold a writing journal), add foam letters to spell the child’s name, and personalize the cubby for each child. It then becomes the child’s home library inspiring pride of book ownership and establishing the child’s identity as a reader.
The Bring Me a Book (BMAB) Book Buddies program is an all-volunteer program developed for under-resourced preschool and kindergarten classrooms. Book Buddies work with literacy experts who have perfected the art of the interactive read-aloud, using children’s books that lend themselves to a read-aloud presentation.
Our Literacy Champion, Pat Barrett Dragan has authored 14 read-aloud lessons. Each one is designed for you as you read a quality picture book to groups of young children. To access these free lessons, as well as ideas for engaging children click here.
Libraries level the playing field. They provide free access to their print and digital collections, as well as reference services. Libraries are our “literacy equalizer” and “social safety net” (Farmer, 2021) because they are open to all, and offer the resources we need to live, learn, and thrive. Access to books and academic success go hand in hand. High-achieving schools tend to have rich and extensive library collections— staffed by professional librarians—and more students who read frequently.
Access to books and academic success go hand-in-hand. When children live in classrooms with libraries, they read 50– 60% more than children who don’t. Books in the classroom, just like books in the home—create a “culture of reading”— which promotes time to read and talk about books. And that’s hugely significant because independent reading in school is the best predictor of academic success.
FAMILY ENGAGEMENT & HOME LIBRARIES
Engaging parents is essential for the short and longterm success of your students. We also know what happens when families are able to build a home library of books their children love. A home library helps establish a reading or “scholarly culture” in the home. This culture continues from generation to generation within families. It is largely independent of education and class. It entails creating a “taste for books,” and promoting the skills and knowledge that foster both literacy and numeracy and, thus, lead to lifelong academic advantages.
BOOKS MAKE TRANSITIONAL HOUSING A HOME
Books in the home—wherever home may be—are essential. Findings published in the journal Social Science Research show that raising a child in a home filled with books positively impacts her future personal and academic success. Specifically, as Pacific Standard reported, the study found that when it comes to standardized tests, “Regardless of how many books the family already has, each addition to the home library helps children do better.” That makes sense: A book-filled home encourages reading for enjoyment and talking about books
SERVICE CLUBS AND SPEAKER APPRECIATION
The Bring Me a Book Speaker Appreciation program was developed for service clubs as a means of recognizing guest speakers at their regular meetings. Clubs adopt a local under-resourced classroom, from preschool through third grade, to receive the books that the club orders through the Bring Me A Book Speaker Appreciation Collection available online at Bookelicious: www.Bookelicious.com . Club members deliver the books to an organization or agency that serves children in under resourced communities such as school and public libraries, medical clinics, Boys and Girls Clubs, and the like.