March is National Reading Month, and the Toys for Tots Literacy Program continues its commitment to helping children “Unplug and March into Reading” by placing books into the hands of less fortunate children and encouraging families to unplug from their screens and electronic devices and enjoy a book together!
Literacy is the foundation for success in life, and it starts with early access to books in childhood. Unfortunately, children in low-income families have very limited access to age-appropriate books.
The Toys for Tots Literacy Program was established in 2008 as a year-round effort to offer our Nation’s most economically disadvantaged children the ability to compete academically and to succeed in life by providing them direct access to books and educational resources that enhance their ability to read and communicate effectively.
“This Program not only brings the joy of reading to these children, but it also serves as an important tool in breaking the cycle of poverty,” says Lieutenant General Jim Laster, USMC (Retired), President and CEO of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. “Our goal is to dramatically change the landscape for less fortunate children and provide books and educational resources to ensure their future success,” he adds.
Since its founding, the Program has delivered more than 53 million books to children in low-income communities and Title I funded schools across the United States. Last year, the Program delivered a record number of over 6.3 million books to disadvantaged children—breaking the cycle of poverty one book at a time.
Most people know Toys for Tots as the organization that brings holiday cheer to children in need with gifts of new toys, but Toys for Tots remains committed to the welfare of children throughout the year with initiatives such as the Toys for Tots Literacy Program. One hundred percent of each dollar donated goes toward purchasing books for economically disadvantaged children.
“By getting books into the hands of less fortunate students, teachers, and families, we are helping children become their best selves,” LtGen Laster emphasizes. Children who have developed strong reading skills perform better in school and have a healthier self-image and a stronger sense of well-being.
All children can improve their reading comprehension skills by unplugging from screens and reading books themselves, playing word games, and reading aloud with family members. Unplug and March into reading with family, peers, or get lost in a book by yourself—and consider making a donation to the Toys for Tots Literacy Program to bring the transformative power of reading to all children.
Visit toysfortots.org for more information about the Toys for Tots Literacy Program and to donate.