Free and unrestricted access to a home library can aid your children's academic achievement. Unite for Literacy ensures all children have this privilege.
Ever since our kids got their hands on those pesky iPads, it seems as if all they know is how to use YouTube Kids and play games on apps filled with ads. If you want to encourage them to read more books, e-books are definitely an option. However, choices can be limited. That's where Unite for Literacy comes in. This initiative is a way for children, no matter where they live or what language they read in, to have free and unrestricted access to an abundance of books. Unite for Literacy hopes to achieve a "wondrously infinite global library." It's definitely something your children will want access to.
The project was developed by two lifelong educators, Mark Condon and Michael McGuffee. Studies have shown that the number of books a child has access to at home is strongly linked to their academic achievement at school, Pacific Standard reports. The more books children have to read, the more likely they are to do well in class. Each new book added to a child's home library, researchers found in their study, can boost academic performance. This "boost" is most profound for children in lower socioeconomic groups. "They enhance the academic performance of children from families at all educational and occupation levels," researchers explained. "But the enhancement is greater for families with little education and low-status occupations."
During the ongoing pandemic, it's probably a little more than difficult to get your hands on physical books for your children to read. While they're out of school, it can quite the task to have them read storybooks independently as well. However, what if we switched the activity of reading up a bit in order to make it more exciting for our youngest readers? That's exactly what Unite for Literacy does. Additionally, they are also working on accessibility and social justice, that is, ensuring all children have access to books. Through their online library, children will have access to hundreds of age-appropriate books in whatever language they read in - not just English.
What's even cooler is that Unite for Literacy's library is intended to have a real-life impact on children's day-to-day learnings. Therefore, they have a deep focus on non-fiction for children as well. Michael Putman, writing for Literacy Worldwide, explained, "Acknowledging that the website is designed to be a tool for children worldwide, nonfiction was deemed necessary to ensure the books had relevance and meaning across cultures and continents." So, the initiative explores unique food through the book My Navajo Taco, teaches how to maintain personal hygiene in Let’s Brush Our Teeth, and journeys through interesting locales in Conservation in Botswana.
The Unite for Literacy library can also be a great tool for teachers who are currently working from home, holding classes via apps like Zoom and trying to keep students engaged. Putman affirmed, "Unite for Literacy provides unique, engaging materials that can support the range of learners across your classroom as well as open possibilities for communication and collaboration among teachers and students across the world." In our globalized, melting-pot world, this is a library that will sensitize and educate children - all while having fun.