How the summer slide affects disadvantaged communities

Summer reading should be a cornerstone of the summer for every child in America. For many low income or underprivileged children, this is not a possibility. Often these children are hit especially hard by the summer slide and suffer disproportionately than their more financially stable classmates.

This disadvantage is mainly due to the fact that these children do not have adequate access to books, let alone books they like. According to research conducted by Scholastic, nine out of ten children who are able to pick out a book they are interested in, will finish the book. This is impossible when our most underprivileged communities lack access to a proper library of books.

A study conducted by The New York Public Library reported that two thirds of the gap between 9th graders is reflective of their access to educational opportunities out of the school house. This reflection is a familiar one and should not come as a surprise. When children have more access to educational opportunities out of school, they are more likely to do well in school. This gap sticks with kids as they age and their educational development will be stunted irreversibly.

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Because of the way this problem affects communities, our solutions must also tailor to the community. That's why we work so hard to support libraries across the country and ensure that they have hte funding they need to provide the services that their communities rely on.

Recently we were able to support Ferguson Municipal Library and its director, Scott Bonner. During the Ferguson riots he rallied to keep his library open as a sanctuary. During this tumultuous time, thousands of Americans made donations to the Ferguson library and Scott was able to raise enough through public donations to provide more services to his community.

As it tends to do, this money was scheduled to run out in 2019. To keep his library afloat, Bonner appealed to the voters to support a levy that would fund his library for years to come.

With our pro-bono support and help, on April 3rd, 2018, voters in Ferguson approved a levy to grant funding to the Ferguson Municipal Library. This will allow Bonner and his librarians to continue to provide excellent care and instruction to the children and adults of Ferguson, Missouri.

Your participation in this Summer Read-A-Thon will not only help children fight against the dreaded summer slide, but the funds you raise will also help EveryLibrary ensure that every child in America has access to the libraries and programs that they deserve.

Join us today so we can continue providing essential funding to libraries in our underprivileged communities. Nobody deserves to live a life without books.