Fair warning: What I learned today is not that fun. But take heart, my friends. There is something we can do to fix it.
So here it is. I just learned that one in four Canadian households do not have a single book.
I don’t like this statistic. At all.
You probably already know that there are plenty of studies out there now, confirming that growing up in a home filled with books is good for you. Personally, I didn’t need any study to prove this to me. But that’s because I’m lucky enough to know it from experience. I grew up in a house full of books.
And my daughter now grows up in one.
Books on books on books on books.
But sadly, not every kid is so lucky.
Here’s the good news, though. There are plenty of people out there, not only conducting studies, but doing good work to get books into kids’ hands—kids who may not have any at home.
I’ve known about First Book Canada for awhile. And I’ve always thought this Canadian charity did really wonderful work. Since 2009, they have distributed over seven million (!) books and educational resources to programs and schools in low-income communities. Amazing, right? So when I found out this unsettling statistic about how many Canadian homes—and kids—are without books, I jumped at the chance to make a donation.
And I made the donation in honour of my daughter’s kindergarten teachers this year. No tacky teacher gifts for them! Nope. They’re getting something a lot more meaningful.
Of course, I’ll probably still have my kid make a (slightly tacky) homemade thank you card as well. Cuteness factor. Come on.