DC Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen held a press conference Jan. 16 at the Southwest Public Library to announce the upcoming introduction of his bill to create a new early literacy initiative in partnership with DC Public Libraries.
“Books from Birth” will mail a book to each child in the District every month from birth through age five, while also working to connect families with the full range of DCPL resources and educational information, including adult literacy and early childhood programming.
After the press conference, Mr. Allen read to a group of students from the nearby Waterfront Academy, and then gave out books to take home.
He explained that less than half of third graders in the District scored proficient or advanced in reading skills in 2014. It is critical that the District confront the literacy and achievement gap at its starting point, well before it shows up in the classroom. Books are direct building blocks for learning, but children must be exposed to them in order to use them.
Photos courtesy of Perry Klein.
(photo caption: Charles Allen reads to students from the Waterfront Academy, a new Montessori School nearby in Southwest. Afterwards, he and his staff gave out books to take home.)
(photo caption: Charles Allen explains the “Books from Birth” initiative.)
(photo caption: Charles Allen with his staff and library representatives [missing in the photo is Naomi Mitchell].)