This month, we are featuring Book Trust, an organization that provides children in grades K-6 who are living in poverty or low-income households, the opportunity to choose and own books.
Here's what Michelle Striker, the Director of Philanthropic Partnerships had to say.
Please take a look at the 2012 Book Trust Video!
Please provide a brief summary of your organization.
Book Trust imagines a world where literacy removes barriers and provides all children with the tools to navigate life successfully. Our mission is to uniquely deliver choice and ownership of books to children from low-income families, increasing their literacy skills and fostering life-long learning.
In participation with Scholastic, Book Trust provides access to books and empowers children to choose and own books, the same way their peers from more affluent families do each month. Book Trust raises the funds to pay for Book Trust students to order $7 worth of books from Scholastic Book Clubs each month of the school year. Children build a personal library of 18 to 20 books per year.
Currently Book Trust is serving over 22,000 students in 113 schools in nine states. During the 2011-2012 school year, Book Trust will provide over 10,000 students with the opportunity to choose and own over 251,221 books in Colorado.
What are the issues/information that you are trying to bring to a larger audience?
There are over 31 million children living in low-income families in America. In low-income neighborhoods, there is 1 book for every 300 children. In middle-income neighborhoods, there are 13 books for every child. Over 60% of low-income families have no books at all in their home. Without access to books, children are much less likely to develop strong literacy skills. Children who are not reading proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school. Book Trust believes that by providing children in poverty with the rights and advantages that come with owning books they choose, the program increases literacy skills and vocabulary development.
Why is your organization unique?
There are many book distribution nonprofits. Book Trust is unique because we are giving kids choice and ownership of NEW books. We believe that if kids can choose what they will read, they will more likely enjoy reading, become better readers and it will contribute to breaking the cycle of poverty.
What are some of the projects you have worked on with the Open Media Foundation?
Open Media Foundation has recently produced Book Trust's first professional marketing video, a tool we will be using across the country to promote Book Trust. It will premiere at our inaugural fundraising event in Denver on May 1st. Thanks Tony & Chris!
What has been some of the outcomes of these projects?
We have thoroughly enjoyed working with Open Media Foundation. The staff is professional and insightful, and we look forward to a continued business relationship to help us further the outreach goals of Book Trust.