report compiled by the Campaign for America’s Children shows that the United States of America now ranks eighteenth out of twenty-one industrialized countries in test scores for reading, math, and science. At one time in our nation’s history we led the world in these important benchmarks. If we are to improve our education standing in the world it will be because we get more parents involved in their children’s education, especially reading to them in the home when they are very young. This could well be the basic reason why four of every ten students in American schools drop-out and do not graduate. Regardless of who is in the White House, Congress or in positions of state leadership, this problem will persist or even get worse if we do not take action.
ver time, with good local leadership, and having the right people involved, every community has hundreds or even thousands of people who can start and carry out a “Bookcase for Every Child” literacy project. The real problem we face is to make more of our citizens aware that we have a tremendous problem of illiteracy in our nation. By means of this Website, we have tried to provide the very best information we have developed over the past seven years, along with a step-by-step plan, to enable any community to join us in a mission to make a difference. With few exceptions, the cities and towns across our country that have the highest literacy rates and the best schools, are also the best places to live, work, and rear a family.
hen it comes to improving literacy, by becoming involved in this project, everyone can do something. It may be building bookcases, giving ‘gently-used’ children’s books, reading to children, or helping with a “Bookcase Literacy Banquet” fundraiser or the Annual Awards Ceremony. Please study this Website and give some thought with regards to what we have presented. If you choose to be involved, we would love to partner with you and the other responsible members of your community. The key is to get started and then get better and stronger each year.
etting better is really an attitude or mind-set that says, “We have worked hard and are successful but there are always areas where we can improve and do better.”
ne of the best and most obvious ways to improve any literacy project is to broaden the circle of people who are involved. Each year as you plan your project, reach out to more civic clubs, business, and professional groups, retired teachers and other educators, churches, and especially those who have never been involved in a literacy project before. Illiteracy impacts every single citizen, to some degree, and it will take a concerted effort from everyone to improve literacy and to have a much brighter future. Most people love to help with a worthy cause; but they also like to be invited and then be shown respect and appreciation for their good work.
Conway Bookcase Project members sharing ideas to improve their project in the coming year