Three out of every five children in low-income communities
don’t have a single children’s book to call their own
More than a dozen local businesses are partnering with Southwest Human Development, Arizona’s largest nonprofit for early childhood development, to help “grow a reader” throughout the month of May by participating in the nonprofit’s Grow A Reader virtual book drive.
For families who struggle to make ends meet, purchasing new, high-quality children’s books simply does not compete with priorities like providing food, clothing and shelter. In low-income communities, three out of every five children don’t have a single children’s book to call their own.
“Children without access to early literacy materials often face challenges as they enter school,” says Jake Adams, chief development officer for Southwest Human Development. “Our partners’ support of our early literacy efforts through this annual drive better prepares thousands of children for success when they enter kindergarten.”
Donating to the Grow A Reader virtual book drive is simple. People can visit a participating Grow A Reader business location, “pick a flower” and purchase books online at swhd.org/GAR to help get children’s books into the hands of kids who need them most. Books start at only $3.99 and are also eligible for a dollar-for-dollar Arizona Charitable Tax Credit.
This year’s participating Grow A Reader partners include Camelback Toyota, Copper Star Coffee, Even Stevens Sandwiches, FEZ, Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant, HobNob’s, Joe’s Diner, MOD Pizza, My Slice of the Pie Pizzeria, Picazzo’s, Short Leash Hot Dogs + Rollover Doughnuts and Spinato’s Pizzeria.
Donated books are distributed to families in need who participate in Southwest Human Development’s early literacy programs like Raising A Reader, a program that focuses on strengthening family literacy routines and community literacy connections, and Reach Out and Read, a national, evidence-based program that promotes early literacy in pediatric offices.
To learn more about Grow A Reader or donate books, please visit swhd.org/GAR.
About Southwest Human Development
Southwest Human Development is Arizona’s largest nonprofit dedicated to early childhood development. Recognizing a child’s earliest experiences and relationships establish the foundation for all future development, Southwest Human Development’s more than 40 comprehensive programs focus on young children—ages birth to 5—and their families in the areas of child development, mental health, Easterseals disabilities services, Head Start, early literacy, family support and child welfare, and professional development and training. Founded in 1981, Southwest Human Development serves 135,000 children and families each year. Learn more at swhd.org.