A Shout Out To: Ferst Readers

I’d like to give a shout out to Ferst Readers. That’s not a typo either. While doing some research, I came across this fantastic website and found myself thoroughly impressed. Founded in 1999, Ferst Readers aims to address a troubling problem, which is an increase in children entering kindergarten without basic literacy skills. If you know me at all, then you know this troubles me. Ferst Readers’ mission to get books into low-income homes right from birth inspires me. Heck, everything I saw on their site inspires me. I clicked link after link and each took me to a new page that demonstrated exactly what I’m trying to do with my own website. I got giddy looking at the information available, but I also became heartbroken at some of the things I learned. The very first statistic I saw said: 61% of low-income families do not have a single book suitable for a child. As a children’s book author, that’s devastating! But as a human being, it’s soul crushing.

Here’s a bit taken straight out of Ferst Readers “Program Overview”:

Who Are We?

Ferst Readers “strengthens communities by providing quality books and literacy resources for children and their families to use at home during the earliest stages of development.”  Ferst Readers wants every child to have the best start in life – and nothing helps a baby’s brain develop more than exposure to rich language and loving interactions. The key is having books in the home and being read to – right from birth. Our vision is “to create better learners, brighter futures, and stronger communities by giving every child under five access to quality books in their homes.”


So, can you see why I wanted to give a shout out to Ferst Readers? Why I’m so impressed with their mission? I feel like a little brother trying to forge my own path and foster a love of reading in today’s youth, when my older sibling is already setting a stellar example and doing it already. I implore you to take a second and check them out and see what they’ve got going on. Spread the word. Help them with their mission, because their mission helps make our world a better place.

 

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