The First Book contest to win 50,000 books for Oklahoma children at risk for low literacy is almost over.
The state is in first place, but Texas, Louisiana and Nebraska are gaining.
Including today, there are only nine more days in the contest, so organizers ask that you vote every day through July 31. To vote, click on http://www2.firstbook.org/whatbook/index.php. You’ll be asked what book got you hooked on reading, and why. To select Oklahoma as the recipient of 50,000 books, pull it down from a drop-down menu.
According to literacy advocate First Book, which is sponsoring the giveaway, the majority of children from low-income families have no books in their homes or classrooms; as a result, direct access to books for these children is limited.
Middle-income children have a book-to-child ratio of 13 to 1, while there is one age-appropriate book per 300 children in low-income neighborhoods.
More than 80 percent of preschool and after-school programs serving low-income children have no age-appropriate books. Children from low-income families have been exposed to an average of 25 hours of one-on-one reading, compared to 1,000 to 1,700 hours for middle-class children.
No Child Left Behind scores from 2005 show 36 percent of all 4th-graders scored “below basic” in reading proficiency. Fifty-four percent of 4th-graders eligible for the school lunch program scored below basic in reading.
From 1992 to 2005, middle school students’ reading scores remained virtually unchanged.
Get out there and vote!!!