Families are the heartbeat of the Gordon Philanthropies mission. Our approach is to involve all the members into a community reading household. We know that if parents and loved ones are reading, then kids will be highly motivated to read.
A number of studies confirm that adults modeling reading plays an important role in what children practice. The act of reading for many children who grow up in a household where reading books is as natural as watching television will go on to make reading a lifelong habit. A study published by Mullis shows that early involvement in reading by parents leaves a profound and lasting effect on children becoming avid and strong readers themselves (Mullis, Mullis, Comille et al, 2004).
Communities That Read Together, Grow Together is a program that seeks to empower students to choose their own books and invite parents and caregivers to do the same. In our data collection, we have discovered that many parents did not grow up in a household where their parents read to them as a child. The act of reading, with and to their kids, seems foreign for many of our families. Our goal is to make reading a common practice for families challenged by financial obstacles.
Our reading program adds support to the great work that our educators in all school districts throughout Los Angeles county are doing in school settings by bringing our reading program into the homes of our families. Our commitment is to provide free, new books to families living in impoverished neighborhoods and help build their home libraries.
Daniel Gordon, founder, stated, “The minimum wage in California is currently $15. A popular book purchased at a local bookstore can range from $12.95 to $14.95. That is one full hour of hard labor for many of the families we serve. Books are life-changing and literacy skills can determine a person’s academic and life success.”