Big Rig Books is a non-profit mobile literacy outreach initiative focused on fostering recreational reading beyond the classroom by encouraging reading and providing books for children and families in economically challenged, underserved communities and underperforming schools.
- To cultivate readers and encourage reading
- To provide the books for children to build their own home libraries
- To promote early literacy
- To foster the desire and ability in children to learn through reading
- To model the value of service to youth and communities
- To have a positive impact on children’s academic success, future career opportunities and overall quality of life
- 40% of American children have difficulty reading or learning to read
- The degree of literacy is related to poverty
- Reading at home is critical to literacy-yet:
- In many public elementary schools, the majority of the children read below grade level
- Typically these schools are in neighborhoods where 93% of families are low-income and qualify for public assistance
- 61% of low-income families have NO books at home for children, and, therefore, NO reading opportunities
- Public libraries can be inaccessible and located in dangerous or gang infested neighborhoods
- Books owned by the schools are often kept at the school and not permitted to go home with the children
WHY IS READING READINESS SO IMPORTANT?
Millions of children show up to the first day of kindergarten having never seen a book before. Through no fault of their own, they begin school four years behind. Millions of dollars are spent annually on reading intervention programs in an attempt to bring children’s reading skills to grade level. Of those that do not catch up, and cannot read proficiently by the fourth grade, two thirds will end up in jail or on welfare.
Bottom Line Facts:
One third of fourth graders in Chicago, for instance, have reading skills below statewide expectations and live in neighborhoods with little or no access to books. Reading is one of the best predictors of a student’s academic success-poor readers tend to read less. If a child’s reading abilities fall behind their peers, they will predictability lose motivation and confidence both at home and socially, which can lead to a devastating and downward spiral of their self-esteem and quality-of-life.