Early childhood literacy is an essential aspect of children’s development that sets the foundation for success and well-being later in life. Yet, for many families experiencing poverty, books are a luxury outweighed by more pressing basic needs like food and shelter. With more than half of families in poverty unable to access children’s books, this barrier to literacy deepens the cycle of poverty.
To address this disparity, EFAA is mobilizing resources for families to get kids excited about reading through our Literacy Enhancement Program. Since 2017, thanks to dedicated partners like Zonta Foothills Club and Bright By Three, every one of our 56 housing units for families with children experiencing homelessness has a fully stocked bookshelf, filled with age and home-language appropriate reading material which is theirs to keep.
Our efforts were bolstered this year by a group of dedicated volunteers who helped us reach out to the community to restock our bookshelves, organize and distribute “comfort bags” for kids (filled with books, a comforter, and a stuffed animal), and curate reading material for parents and kids alike. A few of these volunteers include an assistant principal, a teacher, and a librarian – expanding their love of literature to touch our whole community.