City Cast

Steps you Can Take to Help Improve Child Literacy in Philly

Brittany Valentine
Brittany Valentine
Posted on September 7, 2022   |   Updated on June 20
2021 South Philly read-a-thon (Read By 4th Flickr)

2021 South Philly read-a-thon (Read By 4th Flickr)

There is a literacy crisis among Philadelphia youth. A 2021 report revealed that just 32% of third graders are reading at an age-appropriate level, and there are stark gaps among racial groups, and very low scores for English language learners and students with disabilities. 

Here are two great organizations to support to improve literacy for children in the city.

Tree House Books

Tree House Books is a Giving Library and Literacy center in North Philly. They provide free books to children and families, and offer programs that increase literacy skills and foster a lifelong love of reading and writing. To support their work, you can donate money, children’s books, or sponsor an event. You can also buy supplies for their programs through their Amazon Wish List.

This Saturday, Tree House Books is hosting their annual Philadelphia Literacy Day event. This year’s theme is Books Not Bullets, Community Healing After Violence. Guests can enjoy music, food, therapy animals, and book signings from national authors. Community mental health resources will be provided as well.

Read by 4th

Read by 4th is a citywide coalition of family, community, and systems leaders protecting every child’s right to read. You can become a reading captain or a reading coach, volunteer at their events, or donate cash and/or books. 

You can also sign up to take the “Reading Promise” and learn more about how you can do your part to protect children’s right to literacy, promote the love of reading and writing, and champion Philly school success.

If you’re a leader of a community organization, you can sign up to become a Read by 4th partner to further their impact and create more meaningful change. Current partners include iHeartMedia Philadelphia, Cosmic Writers, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, Children’s Village, and many more.

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