Books are powerful.

In fact, books have the power to change lives.

When kids have access to books it dramatically impacts their success in school. And that can change everything.

The Good News

Kids who have access to books at a young age develop critical reading skills that can lead them through school. Studies show that the number of books in the home directly predicts reading achievement. And that children who grew up with books in their homes reached a higher level of education than those who did not.

The Problem

But way too many kids don’t have books in their home or neighborhoods.

61 percent of low-income families have no books at all in their homes for their children.

In a study of middle-income neighborhoods the ratio of books per child is 13 to 1, but in low-income neighborhoods, the ratio is 1 book for every 300 children.

When books are scarce, children don’t do well in school. And the effect is far-reaching.

Children who struggle with reading in 1st grade, tend to stay struggling readers as they grow. More than 88 percent of children who have difficulty reading at the end of first grade continue to have difficulties at the end of fourth grade.

And Reading Rockets reports that three-quarters of students who are poor readers in third grade will remain poor readers in high school.

Struggling readers are also at a much higher risk of dropping out. Students who don’t read proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to leave high school without a diploma than proficient readers.

Every school day, seven thousand students become dropouts. Annually, that adds up to 1.2 million students who will not graduate high school on time, or at all.

When students drop out, where do they end up?

It’s difficult to imagine, but two-thirds of students who cannot read proficiently by the end of the 4th grade will end up in jail or on welfare. And, seventy-five percent of state prison inmates did not complete high school or can be classified as low literate.

Children who do not read well become adults who don’t read well.

According to the Literacy Project Foundation, 50% of adults in the United States cannot read a book written at an eighth grade level and 45 million adults are functionally illiterate.

The problem of no books has long lasting and dire consequences for children. The solution is simple: Give kids books. Change lives.

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.