When communities, organizations and nonprofits invest in children’s literacy, everyone wins.
And this week they’re being recognized for moving the needle on grade-level reading at the All America City Awards gathering in Denver, Colo., where attendees from across the nation will share strategies, celebrate successes and focus on what’s next in closing the achievement gap for kids.
Research shows that grade-level reading can help close that gap, and is linked to high school dropout rates, incarceration and intergenerational poverty.
And while organizations and nonprofits are recognized at the awards ceremony in Denver this week, we're lending a shout out to these top 5 who inspire and spread an early love of learning in creative ways.
1. In Ypsilanti, Mich. at the Fuller Cut barber shop, kids get a $2 discount when they read a book aloud to their barber.
2. These doctors understand that health doesn’t end with medicine. They prescribe books too.
3. The Hume Society of Missouri has kids read to dogs at the shelter to socialize the animals while practicing their reading skills.
4. Sidney, 11, started his own book club, Books n Bros Book Club, to make reading fun for boys. African American boys statistically stop reading around ages 8 to 10 years-old and he wanted to combat the stereotype and encourage literacy within the young African American community.
5. Mr. Bonner is a second grade teacher at North Carolina's South Greenville Elementary where a majority of students have difficult home lives. Many are homeless. Through music, he lightens the burden of poverty that was keeping many of his students from learning.
The AAC Award recipients will be announced June 16.