Fostering reading habits in the home
Evidence suggests that parents/caregivers can strongly influence their children by reading books in the home, and this can be causally linked to better education performance for children, which in turn is linked to better individual and societal outcomes.
Despite this well-documented cause and effect, some parents don’t know how powerful they can be in shaping how their child develops or feel inadequate due to their own lack of education. So they don’t introduce their children to books.
An ideal solution for fostering literacy needs to do more than simply create book resources for communities. It also needs to provide a pathway for families to take advantage of them.
The Foundation is working to define or support programs that help provide such pathways to families.
Our initial focus is on providing assistance to families living in refugee camps, who face particularly daunting challenges. About one-third of refugees are children under 12. Well-established NGOs manage schools in refugee camps to provide basic education but the language of instruction is often not the language spoken among the family. Not surprisingly, children find this challenging and fall behind.
Without a strong reading culture and early childhood reading support before school, these formal education programs don’t have the impact donors and families want, which prolongs the agony of being displaced.
“A first book has some of the sweetness of a first love.” – Robert Aris Willmott