To establish a sustainable book collection and distribution system delivering a million books every year to children in Portland, to permanently end child book-poverty in our community.
It is estimated that approximately 100,000 children in the Portland Metro area do not have access to books in their homes, making it difficult to learn to read and to succeed in school and in life.
In a typical middle-income school of 300 children, each child has approximately 15 age-appropriate books at home with which to practice reading. In a typical low-income school of 300 children, each child has only 1 age-appropriate book at home.
A recent National Literacy Trust study of 18,000 children found that, "The presence of books in the home has a profound effect on all families, irrespective of parental occupation or social class." Children raised in homes with books were found to advance their education 2 to 3 years beyond those children raised without books in their home.
A national study released in April 2011 shows that students who do not read proficiently by third grade are four times less likely to graduate from high school than proficient readers.
Almost half of Portland's 12th graders will not graduate this year!
A majority of prison inmates are functionally illiterate, at a cost to taxpayers of $127 a day, per inmate, in Multnomah County.
Today, we have the opportunity to solve the problem of book-poverty in Portland completely, for ALL children. We do not have to settle for only helping a few.
To accomplish this goal we will distribute books to 100,000 children in the Portland metro area in 2012, resulting in improved literacy and success. In addition, we have established a social enterprise children's bookstore to provide ongoing funding for child literacy programs. The bookstore is a S Corp with all earnings pledged to the Bazillion Books for Kids! Fund at the Oregon Community Foundation.