Learning to read is hard work. For those of us who are fluent readers, that’s a statement of fact that is easy to forget or to minimize.

Once a child has learned how reading works, though, what helps them get to the next step, to the fluency level? In a nutshell, it’s all about the number of words a child reads. It really doesn’t matter what the words are about (content) or what format they are presented in (comics work just as well as chapter books). It’s the sheer number of words read that builds fluency.

So what happens when, as in South Africa, one child has three books to read in a year–and another has three a day?  The probabilty of one of them effectively becoming shut off from reading for the rest of his/her life skyrockets.

There are many injustices and inequalities in life and around the world. But depriving a growing mind of books ranks at the top. It’s one reason why the Biblio Burro in Colombia and the Camel Library in Kenya and Lubuto Library in Zambia are so life changing.

Being able to read goes beyond being able to access information. The ability to read directly affects the ability to think (Story Proof, Kendall Haven).

Children must have “stuff” to read–and libraries must exist for everyone, but especially the most vulnerable, those who have nothing to read.

Check out the links. Consider a donation. And in this day of school and public library closures in this country, tell the decision makers “no.”

Babette

Advertisements