Started in July 2018 by two brother & sister siblings ages 4.5 and 6, the mission of the 50 States 50 Books project has one main mission: help close the literacy gap in America and expose more children to diverse literature.
Many children across the U.S., particularly those of color, bear the burden of our broken education system. Early literacy is one area where lack of progress is particularly alarming. A student’s ability to read at grade level by the end of 4th grade is a key indicator of future success in school and in life.
We believe it's crucial to have more community-wide efforts, similar to our project that focus on scalability and measurable results. 50 States 50 Books is a small step towards thinking about early literacy through a much wider lens.
It's important to understand that investment in early literacy is crucial to the success of any given country. Students who do not read proficiently by the end of 3rd grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school. Four times!!! That's why it's important for this project (and many other projects like it) to exist today for future generations to come.
"It is not enough to simply teach children to read; we have to give them something worth reading. Something that will stretch their imaginations--something that will help them make sense of their own lives and encourage them to reach out toward people whose lives are quite different from their own."
— Katherine Patterson