Group collects books for Lyon, Storey children |

Group collects books for Lyon, Storey children

Quest Lakes
Healthy Communities Coalition

DAYTON – Healthy Communities Coalition of Lyon and Storey is spearheading a simple project to promote reading skills among children. The group is asking for donations of gently used, clean children’s books, from board books for babies to books for teens, to distribute to children in the area.

The group will offer the free books at food banks, social services lobbies and youth programs. The goal is for all children to have a collection of books in their own homes.

It is important for children to have “bedroom libraries” of many books that they own for a number of reasons. Summer school break has one unintended effect on children from low-income homes: They often fall years behind in school by not reading during three-month summer vacation breaks, University of Florida researchers say.

This summer setback in reading skills plagues children from low-income families, who may have few books at home and fewer opportunities to read, according to Richard Allington of the University of Florida. Their reading achievement declines an average of three months between June and September, while that of middle-class students improves or remains the same, he said. This can accumulate to a two-year gap by the time they’re in middle school.

Many middle-class children have dozens or even hundreds of books in their homes, and can purchase what they want from book stores, while low-income children tend to rely on schools for books. In the summer when school libraries are closed, you might guess that public libraries would be used. However, kids who live in low-income areas may not have transportation to get there.

Public library use among these children declines dramatically when a library is any more than six blocks from their houses, according to research. Helping children create a home collection of books is one way to address this issue.

If you’d like to donate gently used children’s books to the project, call Quest Lakes at 287-7598 or drop the donations at the Healthy Communities office at the Dayton Community Center between 7:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Books may also be mailed to: Attention: Quest Lakes, Healthy Communities Coalition, P.O. Box 517, Dayton, NV 89403.