Hunger Fight, Inc. is excited to announce their own homegrown Feed the Need to Read program. Part of Hunger Fight’s mission has always included eradicating illiteracy by providing books to children, but they recently launched a more robust, locally operated program to allow them to reach more children and increase parent involvement.
When executive director, Sherri Porter, started Hunger Fight her goal was to address the two biggest problems facing our children, particularly those living in poverty, hunger and illiteracy. Literacy skills begin at birth and build on relationships and experiences that occur during infancy and early childhood. Emergent literacy has the biggest impact on the academic success of a child. 90% of a child’s critical brain development occurs by age 5 and early reading experiences provide opportunities to build vocabulary and prepare the child for success in school and life.
The Feed the Need to Read program focuses on emergent literacy skills by delivering free books to preschool children each quarter. Each packet provided for the child includes books, activities and information for the parents on how to engage and become involved in their child’s reading development. Books are often not available to those living in poverty, so the Feed the Need to Read program aims to help these children to start to build their own library. Studies have found proximity to books, along with adult support, can enhance children’s learning. Limited access to books is a barrier to reading for children living in low-income neighborhoods found to be “book deserts.” The physical book that you can hold, handle and feel is important to children.