About Us

Who are we?

USA Reads in a national initiative striving to close the literacy and reading gap. We focus on children and families who are the most at risk of illiteracy.

The reality behind the literacy statistics amongst children in the United States is startling.

In America alone, almost 60% of children from disadvantaged backgrounds do not own a single book and one in four  children struggle to read and write. These numbers are continuously growing.

Most of these children who face a life of illiteracy are located in disadvantaged zip codes across the United States of America.

All children deserve access to opportunities that support them to learn to read and thrive—in school, at home, and in the community. Yet, for millions of US children, their families, and their communities, access to such opportunities is affected by historic and present-day policies and practices that work in reinforcing ways to perpetuate racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic inequities.

Children from low-income families and children of color do not have the same access to high-quality early childhood development opportunities as do their peers. Their skills in reading development are lower. The “literacy gap” start early and result in much lower rates of college completion and social mobility for these children. While a high-quality education is important across a child’s life, much of the brain’s development occurs during the early years. This makes it an essential time to reduce “word gap” disparities and improve the lives of children.

We are striving in get suitable books into hands of children,  resources and support to parents. We create greater awareness, education and support in these underserved zip codes in America.  Literacy Matters!

Nourishing a child’s mind in the first 10 years of life is as essential as feeding their body. New scientific research confirms that what happens to a child’s brain development in their earliest years shapes the adults they become, the success they achieve, and the contributions they make to our economy and society. Unfortunately, too many of our children today are not getting the nourishment they need.

Researchers have identified what they’re calling a “word gap.” Many children who grow up in low-income families enter school with substantially smaller vocabularies than their classmates. This disadvantage leads to further disparities in achievement and success over time, from academic performance and persistence to earnings and family stability even 20 to 30 years later.

The research says the education and employment success of a young person in the future is not based on their parent’s education but on the numbers of books you have at home.

Early intervention makes good economic sense with a 13% Return on Investment for birth-to-five early literacy programs.

World Literacy Foundation aims to eradicate illiteracy by 2040. USA Reads – a project under the umbrella of the World Literacy Foundation that focuses directly on the children impacted by illiteracy in the United States of America. USA Reads will provide children from disadvantaged backgrounds access to suitable, fun, and engaging books.  www.worldliteracyfoundation.org

Mission

To ensure every child can discover the joy of reading in their early years with access to suitable and fun books.

Vision

Striving to eradicate illiteracy in USA by 2040, one book at a time.

Core Values

We are committed to making books a part of every child’s life from birth.
We are committed to supporting families playing a central role in their child’s early language and literacy.
We are committed to collaborative work with parents, partner organizations, and other community groups.
We are committed to financial sustainability.

Our story so far…

Last year, l visited an underserved community in Austin, Texas. 90 percent of the children could not read and didn’t own a single book. For me, in my early years, books were pivotal for imagination, knowledge, creativity and created a hunger to learn.  USA Reads is focused to bring around transformational change, one book at a time.

As we establish local partnerships with grassroots community groups across America, we are committed to racial inequity in literacy to close the reading gap.

I believe literacy is the pathway for young people to reach their full potential.

Andrew Kay, Founder USA Reads

Children Reading - USA Reads

“Reading skills are the key determining factor for a child’s future academic success and reaching their full potential”

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Research behind USA Reads

  • Improving Literacy in the United States: Recommendations for Increasing Reading Success

  • Illiteracy is America’s Secret Shame. Is There Hope for our Children?

  • Low Literacy Levels Among U.S. Adults Could Be Costing The Economy $2.2 Trillion A Year

  • Illiteracy is a national emergency unfolding across America, and it's only getting worse

  • An old story made new again: Why students of color are primed to be left behind in the coronavirus crisis

Our Projects

Our Partners

First Book, Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs International,
Tobias Harris Foundation, Kids Read One!,
Pitney Bowes Foundation, Glenmede and Fuller Foundation.

The Team

Andrew Kay

Andrew Kay

CEO & Founder
Caroline Burkie

Caroline Burkie

Executive Director
Zaira Macegoza

Zaira Macegoza

Project Coordinator USA Reads
Alec Green

Alec Green

Program Coordinator
Olivia Ruiz

Olivia Ruiz

Finance Bookkeeper

Get in touch

Get in touch

PO Box 44
Grandville, Michigan 49468
Phone number:  616-710-1932

P.O. Box 14367
Austin, Texas 78761

info@USAReads.org
North America World Literacy Foundation 501 (c) 3 EIN 46-1201100

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