By: April Carson
Steph and Ayesha Curry are using the love of reading to encourage youth development. In an effort to encourage book sharing and childhood literacy in the community, the Currys have pledged to build 150 libraries in Oakland through their new literacy campaign, Read to Lead.
The Read to Lead Campaign is a partnership with Firstbook, a national nonprofit organization that provides books and educational resources to children in need. Together, they will provide new books and library supplies to support early childhood education programs in Oakland.
The Currys, who operate a free book store school bus, are now assisting in the construction of mini-libraries around Oakland, California.
“We hope that these free book-sharing libraries will help the next generation in Oakland cultivate a culture of literacy.”
The new project, which was announced on Wednesday, is a collaboration between Steph and Ayesha's charity Eat. Learn. Play., as well as the Little Free Library network of nearly 150,000 tiny libraries placed outside homes and businesses around the globe for the purpose of book sharing.
The first to break ground for a micro-library was Franklin Elementary in Oakland. The libraries will be accessible in underserved neighborhoods, including East and West Oakland, Fruitvale, and Chinatown. More than 50,000 free books are anticipated to be distributed as part of the initiative.
The program was implemented in response to declining literacy rates across the Oakland region, according to ABC 7. Eat. Learn. Play emphasizes research that show one out of three children, or 33% of kids, are reading at grade level by the end of third grade. However, only 15.4 percent of Black and 12.5 percent of Latino/a/Latina elementary students in Oakland are reading at grade level after two years of virtual learning, according to studies.
"In order to have a successful society we need to have literate citizens," Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said in a statement. "If a child is not reading proficiently by third grade, they are four times less likely to graduate high school."
“Making sure you read at your grade level by the time you reach third grade determines your educational future throughout elementary school,” Ayesha Curry added. “So for us, turning those figures around is really critical. Literacy is the key to success in school and in life. So we really felt called to action."
“These boxes will hopefully make accessing literacy resources and services for these kids both enjoyable and accessible,” said Steph Curry.
“As Ayesha said, 150 of these will go around Oakland and select neighborhoods and regions. But that implies 30,000 books in the hands of youngsters who require inspiration, guidance to develop at the correct ages, and the potential to provide a fantastic experience of pleasure reading for them.”
“It really is an epidemic, and we want to do our part to help put an end to it,” Steph Curry added. “With these new library boxes, we hope to make a real difference for kids and families in Oakland.”
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April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on bossbabymav.com
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