photo of Scripps building in Cincinnati

1 MILLION books and counting …

“If You Give a Child a Book…”
How would you finish this sentence? At the Scripps Howard Fund, we believe giving children books can take them new places, open their imaginations, fuel big dreams, plant the seeds for future success and help break the cycle of poverty.

Children who lack ongoing access to a rich selection of books spend far less time reading, resulting in lower reading proficiency and a struggle to complete high school and prepare for the world beyond. Unfortunately, many children in low-income neighborhoods lack access to the quality books they need to become competent readers. That’s where the Scripps Howard Fund’s “If You Give a Child a Book…” campaign steps in.

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Our partnership with Title I schools
The Fund partners with Title I schools to reach underserved and vulnerable children living in poverty, with a special focus on the critical kindergarten through third grade years when children are still learning to read. For this age group, there is no replacement for beloved books that a child can return to over and over. Yet, just as the formal learning process begins in school, many childhood literacy programs focused on kindergarten readiness end, leaving children with few resources to reinforce reading outside the classroom. That’s where our work begins.

Building home libraries
The teachers at our partner schools are extraordinary educators who are dedicated to giving students the tools they need to read. We reinforce their work by helping students build home libraries – filling them with books the children have chosen themselves. Our goal is to give each student 10 age-appropriate books per year.

Giving children the power of choice
Several higher education studies have found that when children select their own books, they are more likely to enjoy reading and score higher on comprehension tests. Our partnership with Scholastic Books ensures children get to do just that. We bring Scholastic Book Fairs to Title I schools so students can select their own books to take home. Our partner Title I schools have already been selected for the academic year.

Providing access to diverse reading materials
When children have access to reading materials that represent different abilities, cultures, beliefs, races and ethnicities, they influence attitudes toward those differences. In the process, these books foster positive self-esteem and nurture respect, empathy and acceptance. Books should not be luxuries beyond the reach of low-income children. They are essential for a well-balanced childhood reading diet and pave the pathway to a successful future. Simply put, “If You Give a Child a Book…” you give a child a chance.