Books for Collier Kids continues its book distribution during summer break to offset the loss of literacy skills known as “summer slide.”
Without access to a steady stream of books throughout the summer, low-income children return to fall classes with reading scores 30% lower than those with steady access to books. “This significant, cumulative reading skill loss, known as summer slide, can impact their futures as a lack of basic literacy skills is linked to academic failure, delinquency, teenage pregnancy, substance abuse, unemployment, low productivity and welfare dependency,” says BCK Board Member and Summer Slide Coordinator Emily Watt.
Literacy is one of the best predictors of a child’s future success:
- By the end of 5th grade, at-risk kids are nearly 3 grades behind in reading skills
- 63% of Collier County School District’s 18,000+ elementary students are economically needy; the District has designated 68.42% of the students as “economically disadvantaged” across all schools
- 23 of Collier County’s 34 elementary schools are Title I with at least 75% of students enrolled in free or reduced-cost lunch programs due to low family incomes
- 90+% of children in Collier County’s Title I elementary schools are economically disadvantaged and benefit from BCK’s free book program
To address the concerns associated with Summer Slide, Books for Collier Kids has distributed 15,000+ new, age-appropriate books with related curriculums to Grace Place for Children & Families, YMCA of Marco Island and Naples, Boys & Girls Club (Naples and Immokalee), Guadalupe Center, Friends of Foster Children Forever, C’MON Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples, Garguilo Education Center, Collier County Sheriff ’s Department and Youth Haven.
Books for Collier Kids provides new books to children in-need, addressing one of the most important factors affecting literacy: access to books. Launched in 2005 as First Book-Collier County, BCK has distributed more than 1.6 million new, high-quality, age-appropriate and personalized books to pre-K, kindergarten, first- and second-grade students in-need to enhance their literacy development.
(Florida Weekly May 18, 2023)