The Science Behind Books

A split-view image showing PET scans of a normal brain (L) and a brain with Alzheimer's diseaseNumerous studies cite the need for early literacy intervention across socio-economic scales, as 90% of all human brain synapses form between the ages of zero and five. We believe we can change the trend using free resources that already exist in our community, making this perhaps one of the most solvable complex social issues of our time.


Fact: There are an estimated 60,000 children in the Charlotte area who are growing up with few, if any books at home.

(Promising Pages/ Classroom Central 2011)

Fact: Approximately one in three 3rd graders in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools reads below grade level. One in four students will not graduate.

(CMS 2011 Year End Report)

Fact: 60% of America’s prison inmates are illiterate and 85% of all juvenile offenders have reading problems.

(U.S. Department of Education)

Fact: Children who have not developed basic literacy skills by the time they enter school are three to four times more likely to drop out in later years.

(National Adult Literacy Survey, (1002) NCES, U.S. Department of Education)

Fact: The educational careers of 25 – 40% of American children are imperiled because they don’t read well enough, quickly enough, or easily enough.

(Committee on Preventing Reading Difficulties, National Research Council, 1998)

Fact: Disadvantaged students in the first grade have a vocabulary that is approximately half of an advantaged student. (2900 word vocabulary versus 5800 words)

(Graves, 1986 / White, Graves & Slater, 1990)

Fact: Approximately 50% of the nation’s unemployed youth ages 16-21 are functionally illiterate, with virtually no prospects of obtaining decent paying jobs.

(U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)

Fact: Over one million children drop out of school each year, costing the nation over $240 billion in lost earnings, forgone tax revenues, and social service expenditures.

(McQuillan, 1998)

Fact: More than 75% of those on welfare, 85% of unwed mothers and 68% of those arrested are illiterate.

(Washington Literacy Council)

Fact: More than 20% of adults read at or below a fifth-grade level – far below the level needed to earn a living wage.

(National Institute for Literacy, Fast Facts on Literacy, 2001)

Fact: To participate fully in society and the workplace in 2020, citizens will need powerful literacy abilities that, until now have been achieved by only a small percentage of the population.

(National Council on Teachers of English Standards for the English Language Arts)

Fact: In 1999, only 53% of children ages 3 to 5 were read to daily by a family member. Children in families with incomes below the poverty line are less likely to be read aloud to everyday than are children in families with incomes at or above the poverty line.

(The National Center for Education Statistics, NCES Fast Facts, Family Reading)