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"There is no substitute for books in the life of a child."
Mary Ellen Case
Northern Virginia is one of the wealthiest areas in the nation; however, there are extreme disparities between high and low-income families.
For families living in under-resourced communities, many have to make choices on how to spend their monthly income. It is likely that half their income* is spent on rent/mortgage and the rest on basic expenses like utilities, clothing, and food. A new book is a luxury item for many of these families.
Books play a critical role in building a successful foundation for a child's future.
Limited access to books can have a significant impact on a child's reading development. When reading becomes something done occasionally, and not as a routine, children are not learning and building the vocabulary required as they move from grade to grade.**
We believe the power of books can transform a child's life.
Each week in our classes, an engaging book is used to highlight an academic skill (color identification, counting, shapes, etc.) or a social/emotional skill (making friends, identifying emotions, inclusion, etc.) for our students to learn.
Every student enrolled in an All Ages Read Together (AART) classes receive a copy of the book to take home and build their library. By the end of our program, they will have at least 30 books for their home use.
We also host literacy nights and attend community events to distribute even more books. Each year, we give away more than 5,000 books to children in need in Northern Virginia.
This Giving Tuesday, will you help us change a life by giving a book?
- $24.00, that = 12 books for students! 6 from YOU + 6 from our MATCH.
- $48.00, that = 24 books for students! 12 from YOU + 12 from our MATCH.
- $96.00, that = 48 books for students! 24 from YOU + 24 from our MATCH.
- $120.00, that = 60 books for students! 30 from YOU + 30 from our MATCH.
- $144.00, that = 72 books for students! 36 from YOU + 36 from our MATCH.
Who we are: All Ages Read Together is a free kindergarten readiness program educating children in need in their communities. We provide classes directly in the communities we serve so our families have easy access to quality early education without transportation barriers.
Who we serve: We operate in under-resourced communities in Northern Virginia, serving families who are considered extremely low-to-moderate income. They may not qualify for public preschool and therefore have to pay out of pocket. This is an additional expense their budget cannot afford. If children cannot read at a basic reading level by the 3rd grade, they are six times more likely to drop out of high school (Hernandez).
What we do: We provide a safe and welcoming class experience, with qualified teachers and bilingual teaching assistants. AART's kindergarten readiness classes are designed to introduce and reinforce class routines along with learning foundational academic and social/emotional skills. We strive to have each student ready for kindergarten on day one!
What we are raising: $23,490 for our 2021-2022 book budget! Thanks to our generous AART Board, every dollar raised will be matched up to $5,000.00!
Click the red donate button at the top of the page to give today!
* Families living in under-resourced communities face many issues that stem primarily from the high cost of living expenses. "Northern Virginia has one of the highest rates of "severe housing burden"—spending over half of one's household income on rent/mortgage, taxes, fees, and basic utilities— in the country." (Hughes, E). Severe housing burden leads to "shelter poverty, a condition where the high cost of housing makes it difficult to pay for other essentials without cutting corners, relying on informal or public assistance, and falling deeper into debt." (Hughes, E).
** Researchers compared borderline poverty census tracts (low-income makes up 18% - 39% of the community) and middle-income neighborhoods in a small study. What they found was there were "16 times as many books per child than our lower-income neighborhoods (low-income makes up 40% or higher)." (Neuman and Moland).