Here’s a compelling fact: Children having books of their own is the single most important key to their success in school. Single. Most. Important.

Crazy, but true. When children have books in their home, they are more likely to:

  • Do well in school
  • Graduate high school
  • Attend college and raise children who do the same.

But there’s a problem…

Far too many children in our communities own too few books, or no books at all. And 61% percent of low-income families have no children’s books in their homes.

On average, low-income families have only four children’s books in their homes. Researchers have also found that almost two-thirds of these families had no age-appropriate reading material for their children

And when kids don’t have books of their own, things can go terribly wrong.

The Terrible Cost of Not Owning Books

Scary Fact #1

61% of low-income families have no books for their children in their homes.

While low-income families have, on average, four children’s books in their homes, researchers found that almost two-thirds of these families had no age appropriate reading material for their children.

Scary Fact #2

Fewer than half (48%) of young children in the U.S. are read to daily.

The percentage of children read to daily drops even lower (to 36%) among low-income families, whose children face the highest risk of literacy problems.

Scary Fact #3

One in six children who are not reading proficiently in the third grade, do not graduate from high school on time – a rate four times greater than that for proficient readers.

This rate is even higher in children from low-income families, and in rural areas.

The Magic of Owning Books

Happy Fact #1

The most successful way to improve the reading achievement of low-income children is to increase their access to print materials.

Happy Fact #2

Children who come from homes with lots of books do better in school.

Even a modest home library can have a huge impact. A child who has at least 25 books will, on average, complete two more years of school than would a child from a home without any books at all.

Happy Fact #3

Having books in the home:

  • helps improve a child’s reading performance
  • causes children to read more and for longer lengths of time
  • improves attitudes toward reading and learning

* Not sure how many books you should have in your home? Click here to find out the “magic number.” (link to second post on creating a home library).

How Can You Help?

  • Support organizations in your community that provide children with books.
  • Donate books to libraries, schools, preschools, church nurseries, and homeless shelters.
  • Flood your home with children’s books for your own children – because books are powerful.
  • Support Early Shirts. For every shirt we sell, we donate the profits to organizations that provide books for children. One Shirt equals One Book.

Not having access to books at home is a huge problem for children that leads to many disadvantages in school. But the solution is so simple: make sure children are surrounded by books in our homes, communities in schools. Problem solved.


Early Shirts and You

At Early Shirts, we believe books are powerful, especially in the hands of children. But far too many children don’t have access to books and that’s a problem. That’s why we’re busy making sure all children have books to call their own at an early age. You can help! Shop Early Shirts today and help kids get books. One Shirt = One Book. It’s simple, magical math.