More than one million children from birth to age 8 currently live in public housing in the U.S. These children typically have less access to quality education and learning resources, resulting in an achievement gap that begins when they enter kindergarten unprepared to learn and widens as they progress to 3rd grade. Research shows that more than 80 percent of children from low-income families are not proficient readers by the end of 3rd grade. To help address this gap, Age of Learning recently joined the Leadership Cohort of the Book-Rich Environments Initiative. Created by the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, this initiative provides high-quality books and literacy programs to support children and families living in public housing. Strong local coalitions of book distribution programs, public libraries, and businesses are working together with support from The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading to make this initiative a success.
Building on our commitment to the ConnectHome Initiative, we will continue to provide ABCmouse® Early Learning Academy—which includes over 800 digital books—to all Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) for free. As a partner in the Book-Rich Environments Initiative, we will also be providing a complete set of ABCmouse hardcover children’s books and additional training and family engagement support to participating PHAs.
This partnership is another step towards our goal of making high-quality learning resources available to all children.