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July 14 , 2015

Dear Stanislaus READS! Partner,

We throw around a lot of statistics when we present on Stanislaus READS!, but the one that always gives us pause is this:
61 percent of low-income families have no books at all in their home for their children.

Access to books is really important. Why? Because studies show a strong correlation between children’s reading performance and the number of books in their home. The mere presence of books profoundly impacts a child’s academic achievement and helps establish a reading culture in the home that persists from generation to generation within families, largely independent of education and class.  In fact, an analysis of a national data set of nearly 100,000 United States school children found that access to printed materials—and not poverty—is the critical variable that affects reading performance (see body of research here)

So, this means if we want to improve the reading achievement of Stanislaus County children, we need to increase their access to books.

Stanislaus READS! is doing just that. We recently partnered with Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, a national program that distributes free books directly to children's homes. For only $30 per year, a Stanislaus County child living in one of our five pilot school attendance zones will receive a free book every month from birth to age 5. Our 2015 goal is to raise enough funds to sign up 500 children.

Thanks to early funding partners listed below, we have already signed up 150 children for the program and next month they will receive their first book —The Little Engine That Could.
  • Friends of the Library Modesto
  • Modesto Rotary Club Foundation and Modesto Rotary Members
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Stanislaus Community Foundation
  • Waterford Lyons Club
Want to help support the Imagination Library in Stanislaus County? Make an online donation today or call us at 209.576.1608.


Amanda Hughes
Stanislaus Community Foundation

To learn more about Stanislaus READS!, please visit the initiative website: or follow us on Facebook

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