Access to Books

The mere presence of books in a child's life—at home and in their communities—profoundly impacts their academic achievement. In fact, children raised in a home with books are 20% more likely to finish college, and yet 61% of low-income families have no books at all in their homes for their children.

Scholastic Literacy Partners play an active role in increasing children's access to age-appropriate books and providing literacy-based programming that aligns to curriculum goals.


  • Placing books in the hands of children fundamentally influences their chances for both personal and academic success (Constantino, 2014; Neuman & Celano, 2012; McGill-Franzen, 2016; Allington & McGill-Franzen, 2013; Kim, 2009).
  • 91% of teachers say that making sure children have access to books is an important strategy for parents seeking to help their child succeed in school (Scholastic; The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, 2013).
  • The most successful way to improve the reading achievement of low-income children is to increase their access to print (Neuman & Celano, 2012).
  • Access to books is fundamental to a hopeful, productive life (Cunningham & Zilbulsky, 2014; Jacobs, 2014; Neuman & Celano, 2012).
  • The only behavior measure that correlates significantly with reading scores is the number of books in the home (McQuillan, 1998).

Early Literacy

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents and caregivers read to children starting at birth to help build and strengthen cognitive and language skills. Emergent literacy skills develop during the preschool years, so early exposure to literature is essential for children to develop and recognize the sound units that make up words. By promoting early literacy, you will be:

  • Boosting brain development
  • Increasing phonological awareness
  • Assisting with alphabet and print knowledge
  • Supporting oral language skills
  • Helping with reading readiness

A Scholastic Literacy Partnership provides you with a wide array of board books and picture books that will allow your program to support parents and caregivers with the invaluable opportunity to jumpstart their children's reading ability.


  • "As the newborn hears sounds and discriminates the oral language, he or she begins to build the foundation of written language and reading and writing" (Bowman, Donovan, & Burns, 2000).
  • Reading to children starting at birth strengthens cognitive and language skills—providing children with strong literacy education in the early years leads to better academic outcomes and reading success later on (Campbell et al., 2002).
  • Children who are immersed in rich language may hear 30 million more words by the time they enter school, compared to children who aren't (Hart & Risely, 1999).

After School

High-quality after-school programs and other expanded learning opportunities directly correlate with increases in academic achievement, school engagement, and social and emotional development. After-school, before-school, summer-school, and Saturday learning programs help keep children on-task and engaged. In addition to boosting academic performance, children benefit from a safe, structured, expanded learning environment in the following ways:

  • Access to academic resources after school
  • Preparation for college and career
  • More independent reading practice

By incorporating Scholastic's resources into your organization, you have the means to develop a literacy-focused extracurricular program that gives children a supportive environment to continue their development after the bell rings.

The Impact of Expanded Learning Opportunities

  • "For students who need extra support to be successful academically, what happens before and after school can be as important as what happens during the school day" (NEA Policy Brief, 2008).
  • Students who participate in after-school programs are more likely to develop the proficiency they need to succeed in school; they earn higher grades, have improved attendance, behave better in school, and are more likely to graduate (Sabina Gesell, Vanderbilt University).
  • Children and youth who participate in well-implemented programs and activities outside of school are poised to stay enrolled longer and perform better in school than their peers who do not attend such programs (Priscilla Little, Harvard Family Research Project, 2009).

Summer Reading

The summer months are a pivotal time to advance student reading skills and narrow the cumulative achievement gap between children with means and those without. A Scholastic Literacy Partnership offers programs that engage students in independent reading and heighten motivation during the summer while also building literacy skills. A summer program can:

  • Provide windows of opportunity for early readers
  • Build text-rich environments and foster a reading culture outside of school
  • Promote independent reading and heighten motivation
  • Prepare students for college and careers
  • Enhance language acquisition for English language learners
  • Help mitigate the effects of the “summer slide”

The Impact of summer literacy

  • Summer reading loss accounts for at least 80% of the reading achievement gap by ninth grade (Allington & McGill-Franzen, 2009).
  • Children who read as few as six books over the summer break can maintain their reading skills at a level achieved in the preceding school year (Allington & McGill-Franzen, 2008).
  • “Reading scores can improve when children get help choosing skill-appropriate books and read those books over the summer break..." (Kim & White, 2008).

By pairing children with caring adults, leadership programs help young people develop strong interpersonal relationships, improving their reading abilities and building beneficial social skills. As a Scholastic Literacy Partner, you have access to programs that bring trained mentors into your organization who will work directly with children and help them build these foundational relationships. These programs help children:

  • Become leaders in their communities
  • Prepare for college and careers
  • Improve their social and emotional life
  • Build independence
  • Overcome bullying and teasing
  • Establish supportive and beneficial relationships


  • Through mentorship, young people develop social skills and emotional well-being, improve cognitive skills, bolster their self-confidence, and learn to plan for the future (Rhodes, 2008).
  • Students who meet regularly with their mentors are 52% less likely than their peers to skip a day of school and 37% less likely to skip a class (Tierney et al., 1995).
  • "Increasingly […] researchers are trying to take into account the much wider range of academic and nonacademic factors—including intellectual habits, self-management skills, and knowledge about higher education" (Heller, 2010).
  • Young people learn how to strengthen communication skills and relate well to all kinds of people (Tierney et al., 1995).

Custom Solutions

We believe in making it as easy as possible to create text-rich environments in your community. Our experts work with you to tailor age- and interest-appropriate book collections, and we can even add training materials for the community leaders, staff, or volunteers who work directly with children or parents.

At no additional cost, our experts will develop a strategy that:

  • Conforms to your budget
  • Gets popular books into the hands of the children and families in your community
  • Sorts books and resources by age range
  • Enhances the core mission of your organization

If you don't see exactly what you're looking for in our Initiatives or Products pages, contact one of our experts to get started on a literacy support strategy that's right for you.