Book Immersion

Lifelong Learning Begins with Books for All Our Kids

Kyle Zimmer
by Kyle Zimmer | Apr 03, 2013
| 1 Comment

Summary:

I would give 50,000 children in St. Paul a 12-book library of their very own, a simple but profound gift to help fuel a child’s love of learning, and set them on a path toward success.

If you’re reading this, chances are you grew up with books. How else would you learn to read? Having books at home and in school is the number one predictor of reading success. But the reality for so many of St. Paul’s children who are growing up poor or near poor is this: books are scarce. Many have no age-appropriate books at home; neither their parents nor the schools and programs they attend can afford to buy books at retail prices. Without books in their hands, they lack the critical resource they need to read, learn and succeed.

Unlike many of the city’s biggest, most entrenched social problems, this is one we can solve, and the solution is within reach thanks to First Book.

First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise working to provide low-income communities with the wealth of books and resources. It has distributed over 100 million and is committed to driving systemic change. Over 50,000 schools and program in its rapidly growing network now have access to over 3,500 high-quality that were otherwise out of reach at 60-90% below retail. They include titles like The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Green Eggs and Ham, and To Kill a Mockingbird

About You

Visit websitemore ↓↑ hide↑ hide

About You

First Name

Kyle

Last Name

Zimmer

City

Washington

County

DC

Country

United States, DC, Washington

Website (if you have one)

Names of others who helped contribute to my idea

How did you hear about the Forever Saint Paul Challenge?

Announcement email from Carleen Rhodes

About Your Organization (if applicable)

Organization Name (if applicable)

First Book

Organization Website

Organization Phone

(202) 732-3669

Organization Address

1319 F Street, NW

City

Washington

Organization Country

United States, DC, Washington

Your idea

read more↑ hide↑ hide

Title of your idea

Book Immersion: Lifelong Learning Begins with Books for All Our Kids

Give us the highlights of your idea for making Saint Paul great (2,000 characters maximum or approx. 250 words)

I would give 50,000 children in St. Paul a 12-book library of their very own, a simple but profound gift to help fuel a child’s love of learning, and set them on a path toward success.
If you’re reading this, chances are you grew up with books. How else would you learn to read? Having books at home and in school is the number one predictor of reading success. But the reality for so many of St. Paul’s children who are growing up poor or near poor is this: books are scarce. Many have no age-appropriate books at home; neither their parents nor the schools and programs they attend can afford to buy books at retail prices. Without books in their hands, they lack the critical resource they need to read, learn and succeed.
Unlike many of the city’s biggest, most entrenched social problems, this is one we can solve, and the solution is within reach thanks to First Book.
First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise working to provide low-income communities with the wealth of books and resources. It has distributed over 100 million and is committed to driving systemic change. Over 50,000 schools and program in its rapidly growing network now have access to over 3,500 high-quality that were otherwise out of reach at 60-90% below retail. They include titles like The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Green Eggs and Ham, and To Kill a Mockingbird

Website address (if applicable)

Innovation

read more↑ hide↑ hide

What makes your idea different or unexpected? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

In short, First Book. We work with the key players in St. Paul’s education community including the Superintendant, American Federation of Teachers, Head Start, Minnesota Reading Corps, and Think Small. Its other assets include a volunteer network and celebrated authors like Kate DiCamillo to tap.

Through unprecedented innovations and partnerships, First Book has pioneered models that make high-quality books accessible and affordable on an ongoing basis for the entire low-income sector on a scale never before imaginable. Sustainability is built-in. Once connected with First Book educators have permanent access to a limitless supply of resources, as well as tools like Virtual Book Drives that help them raise funds on their own, and book grants that are underwritten by corporations like

Impact

read more↑ hide↑ hide

This Entry is about (Issues)

How will your idea make a difference in Saint Paul? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

More than 40% of St. Paul Public School children read below grade level. Scholars like Susan B. Neuman believe that access to books and educational material is the single greatest barrier to literacy development in the United States. “If we can solve the problem of access, we will be well on the road to realizing educational parity—a goal which has eluded this country since its founding.”

Home libraries aren’t a magic wand, but they are a critical part of any solution. A recent meta-analysis of over 11,000 studies showed that book lending and ownership programs improve reading performance, are instrumental in helping children learn the basics of reading, cause children to read more and for longer lengths of time, and improve attitudes toward reading and learning among children.

Sustainability

read more↑ hide↑ hide

Why do you think people will recognize or remember your idea after it comes to life? How might it inspire others to do something similar in their community? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

This would be the largest book distribution of its kind and type in any major city in America. This project would put 600,000 books with a total retail value of $4.5 million into the city. The collective impact on a city whose entire child population has high-quality books and educational resources would be unprecedented and of keen interest to city leaders, educators, parents, and other major stakeholders across the country working to improve education and close the achievement gap.