Little Blue Bookshelf Fights Childhood Illiteracy

You'll soon find little blue bookshelves popping up around town. The program is part of a final class project for Leadership Joplin, a group sponsored by the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, and the United Way's Success by Six program. The two organizations wanted to bring a focus to early childhood literacy. The Little Blue Bookshelf, found in places where families would visit with children, is stocked with age appropriate books for kids up to third grade. Joplin Librarian Cari Rerat tells News Talk KZRG they placed the bookshelves in places where kids are going through some sort of crisis.

"We placed the bookshelves in places where children are experiencing some sort of crisis or trauma, so they can take that book, and it really can be a bright spot in a really rough time."

Ronald McDonald House Executive Director Annette Thurston says the program really fits in well with their mission to better the lives of children in the community.

"Every family that leaves here will have access to a free book to take with them or read while they're here."

Research has shown that kids who read at their grade level by third grade are more likely to graduate from high school.

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