A Book in My Hand: A Community Project to Equalize Literacy Opportunities in the Roanoke Valley

Author: Katie Dail
Major: Elementary Education
Approved: Spring 2020
Status: In progress

It is well-documented in the scholarly literature that reading with children from a young age and having books in the home predicts greater academic success later in life (Logan et al., 2019). The problem is that not all children are afforded equal opportunity when it comes to having books in their homes or having someone around who can read to them. The purpose of this project to alleviate some of this imbalance for children by providing high quality literature to primary children who do not already have books at home. This project will begin with a literature review looking at the positive effects of reading with children, difficulties parents and guardians run into when trying to expose children to literature, and what is being done/what more can be done to give all children the same opportunities for literacy. For the second half of this project, a group of students will receive a new book every month for a semester, totaling four books for each student to keep, the student will get to read the book at school or at their afterschool program and do an activity to go along with the book. Each book they receive will be a gift to them to help each child build a home library. At the conclusion of the book club, staff members at the project site will be interviewed to determine the impact of the program on the students.