Connect for a Great Start – Canada
By First Book Canada
Even before the pandemic, 27% of Canadian children started school inadequately prepared last September and 25% were not reading at grade level in grade three. The literacy gap has only gotten bigger since the start of COVID-19, leaving many stuck at home with no reading materials or books to call their own. Children who were at risk of falling behind before the pandemic are even more vulnerable now. Many of the places that support families – childcare centres, drop-ins, libraries, recreation centres – were closed, resulting in disruptions to routines and resources. Unemployment, food insecurity, fear and grief have created or escalated tensions in many homes. Although books are not going to solve every issue, great stories are a wonderful way to reduce stress, encourage imagination, and help children from low-income households keep up their reading levels. With your help, 10,000 brand new books will go to schools and community organizations serving high-needs children as students get back to learning this fall. Whether back in class or connecting from home, all students need books to help them get off to a great start this academic year.