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Literacy is quite possibly one of the most important skills someone can have. If you couldn’t read, you wouldn’t be able to write texts and emails, read instructions, or navigate the internet! Keep reading for 5 facts about the literacy crisis.


1. Reading is important. Research proves that reading aloud to children every day puts them almost a year ahead of children who do not. This is regardless of parents’ income, academic or cultural background.

2. Literacy saves lives. According to UNESCO, improvements in women’s education explained half of the reduction in child deaths in the past twenty years. Mothers who are educated are more likely to have their children vaccinated, and more likely to send them to school.

3. Nearly 85% of the juveniles who face trial in the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate, proving that there is a close relationship between illiteracy and crime. More than 60% of all inmates are functionally illiterate.

4. According to the National Education Association, “twenty-six percent of children who were read to three or four times in the last week by a family member recognized all letters of the alphabet. This is compared to 14 percent of children who were read to less frequently.”

5. YOU can help! By donating new or gently used children’s books, you can help to increase the number of books that at-risk children have at home. By 2017, Bernie’s Book Bank will have sourced, processed, and distributed nearly 11 MILLION books. To learn about more ways that you can help our mission, click here.

How Can You Help? It’s Easy…

  • Volunteer during drop-in hours or organize a group to sort, sticker & pack books
  • Organize a book drive; collect books for at-risk children from community members
  • Donate $6 to provide quality books for a year for one child; $60 provides for 10 children
  • Hold a bake sale or lemonade stand to benefit Bernie’s Book Bank
  • Shop AmazonSmile and select Bernie’s Book Bank as your beneficiary
  • Host your next corporate, social or civic event in the Bernie’s Book Bank venue
  • Donate children’s books for ages birth through 6th grade
  • Attend Book Lovers’ Lunch, Birdies & Books or a Bernie’s Book Bank partner event

Learn More

You don't have to work in education to know that there are many factors in learning to be a successful reader, but none is as important as having actual access to personal books. Bernie's Book Bank comes walking right into the classrooms on a regular basis and makes the impossible possible for these children.

Jane Vester

Librarian, McCall Elementary School