Literacy Initiatives

Early literacy is a crucial part of a child’s development. It enhances vocabulary, builds important communication skills, and gives them the tools they need to be successful in school and in life.

Reading aloud is the single most important thing you can do to help a child prepare for reading and learning on their own.

It is one of the best activities to stimulate language and cognitive skills, and it also builds motivation, curiosity, and memory, and forms bonds between adults and children.

But many children from low-income homes are exposed to very little reading before entering school, and many don’t have access to age-appropriate books that they can call their own. Studies have found that by age four, children in middle and upper income families hear 30 million more words than their lower income peers, and more than a third of children arrive at kindergarten without the skills necessary to be successful. It’s easy to see how the achievement gap is evident long before children start school, and children who aren’t reading proficiently by the end of third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school.

Literacy plays a key role in all of our programs, but the following initiatives are focused on ensuring more children have access to books and reading materials:

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library


Reach Out and Read


Durham’s Campaign for Grade-Level Reading