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Today’s children are tomorrow’s leaders; they are our hope for the future, to build a strong and thriving economy and society. The lack of reading skills can impact learning and future success. I

CFOC  is working to address the literacy challenges our children face. 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 and is the root of reading success and forms the basis for learning in all subjects.

90% of a child’s critical brain development occurs by age 5. Children who receive high quality education by age five are 70% more likely to graduate from high school. Achievement gaps between children in poverty and those from more affluent families become apparent by 18 months. When children start behind, they rarely catch up. But when children are read to from an early age, they become better readers and students. Early reading experiences provide opportunities to build vocabulary and literacy rich environments that support development of pre-reading and cognitive skills that ensure children are prepared for success in school and in life.

Feeding the Mind. To address these issues and help children develop reading skills, Hunger Fight, in partnership with the Dolly Parton Foundation’s Imagination Library, launched a pilot program that serves those who are at most risk: ages 0-5. Books will be mailed each month directly to the child’s home to encourage children and families alike to spend time with books.