As tech-savvy internet dwellers, we take the ability to read for granted. However, did you know that in Washington state, only 36% of children from low income families can read at a basic level, versus 68% of their middle and upper income counterparts?1 In addition, did you know that kids who don’t read at grade level by 3rd grade are 4x more likely to drop out of school?2 This represents a huge problem, considering that 45% — or almost half a million children — are on free or price-reduced meal plans in Washington State.3
Research has shown that two thirds of the reading achievement gap can be explained through learning loss that occurs during the summer months of the primary school years. The other third occurs before students even enter kindergarten. However, 61% of low-income families have no books in their homes for their children.4 Not only that, 80% of preschool and after-school programs serving low-income populations have no age-appropriate books for their children at all.5
Though this paints a dire picture for the future of America, there are organizations committed to combating these alarming statistics. Founded in Seattle back in 1990, Page Ahead is one such organization, making a huge impact in the state of Washington. They have created a vast array of programs to put books in the hands of the kids that need them most.
Pogo Linux is proud to have been one of the sponsors of the annual Page Ahead benefit luncheon in Seattle. We are happy to report that the luncheon raised thousands of dollars for this worthy cause! This guarantees that thousands of children’s lives will be enriched by the gift of reading.
“Literacy can make the difference between the poverty of one generation and the promise of the next. Page Ahead helps children realize their potential by providing them with the inspiration to read.“ – Page Ahead
Despite the success of the luncheon, there is still so much more to be done! To lend your support to children’s literacy, you can make a tax-deductible donation to Page Ahead here. To learn more about how this organization is making a difference, please visit the Page Ahead website.
To learn about how Pogo can help you tackle the challenges your organization is facing, please call us at 888-828-POGO, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
1,3 From the “Washington State Report Card”, 2014-2015
2 Annie E. Casey Foundation. (2012). Double Jeopardy: How third grade reading skills and poverty influence high school graduation. Washington D.C.
4 Neuman, Susan B. and David K. Dickinson, ed. Handbook of Early Literacy Research, Volume 2. New York, NY: 2006, p. 31.
5 Neuman, Susan B., et al. Access for All: Closing the Book Gap for Children in Early Education. Newark, DE: International Reading Association, 2001, p. 3.