TEANECK, N.J. – Across the country, thousands of Kumon Math and Reading Center students are collecting new and gently-used children's books for schools and non-profit children's organizations in honor of National Book Month. The public is welcome to join the book drive by donating books to the 115 participating centers throughout October.
The need is great. In middle-income neighborhoods, the ratio of books per child is 13 to one, while in low-income neighborhoods, the ratio is one age-appropriate book for every 300 children.
"The ability to read is an essential life skill." says Dr. Mary Mokris, education specialist for Kumon. "Access to books is critical to helping children learn to read and for continuing their development by reading to learn. More than 80 percent of preschools and after-school programs serving low-income populations have no age-appropriate books for their students."
Families who donate books will receive a copy of Kumon's Recommended Reading List in appreciation of their contribution. The list contains hundreds of titles designed to help parents select books that enhance their children's appreciation and understanding of the English language and develop a lifelong love for reading. At least a third of the books on the Recommended Reading List have won literary awards such as the Newbery, Pulitzer Prize, Caldecott and the National Book Awards, presented by the National Book Foundation. Kumon will also donate a complete set of 280 books from Kumon's Recommended Reading List to the Homes for the Homeless organization in New York City.
"At Kumon, we believe all students have the ability to achieve their full potential." said Dr. Mokris. "By helping children develop strong reading skills, an interest in reading daily, we can help them to become life-long learners."
Kumon Centers will donate books to 60 charities and local schools such as: Homes for the Homeless, Better World Books, Head Start, Boys & Girls Club, Dream House for Kids, The Pajama Program, Access Books, Spread the Word Nevada-Kids to Kids, Harmony House, Project Night-Night, Read Aloud Virginia, 826 Boston and United Way.
Kumon [Koo-mon] is an after-school math and reading program. The learning method uses a systematic individualized approach that helps children develop a solid command of math and reading skills. Through daily practice and mastery of materials, students increase confidence, improve concentration, and develop better study skills. Kumon has 26,000 Kumon Centers in 46 countries and more than four million students studying worldwide.