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Empowering Young Minds: A UNM Reading Tutor's Journey with GGAB

Updated: Jan 31


 





Elena Finnegan

UNM Reading Tutor 

UNM Biology Major

December 2023


 

The work we do at Global Give-A-Book aims to provide children with the essential resources they need to succeed, both in school and in life. GGAB donates brand-new, quality children’s books and provides programs where reading tutors, such as myself, can read to young people and help them practice reading independently. This helps combat the multiple problems that prevent children in our community from achieving needed levels of literacy. 


First, many children need access to books in the home, which is a huge problem that prevents youth literacy. One of the most alarming studies shows that there is roughly one book for every 300 children in low-income communities (1). Access to books is necessary for children to develop the skills they need for literacy. Books are such a vital resource that children who grow up with books in the home tend to achieve higher levels of education (on average, 3.2 years longer) than children in households without books (2). Thus, donating quality literature to children in our community is imperative. Having participated in GGAB’s programs, it’s very gratifying to see the kids’ faces light up when we hand them a book, and it’s exciting to imagine how they might use that book to improve their reading skills in the future.


Another problem that Global Give-A-Book is working to combat is encouraging young children to read more. Studies show that, on average, children living in middle-to upper-income households will be exposed to over 1,000 hours of picture book reading, while children from low-income households will only have been exposed to about 25 hours (3). GGAB’s programs that involve reading to children are vital because they expose children to new vocabulary, ideas, and perspectives, showing them that reading is fun!


Through GGAB, I have had the opportunity to read to children each week at Cuidando Los Niños, an early childhood education program in Albuquerque for children experiencing homelessness. Each time I arrived, the children would be more and more excited to look at the books and hear the stories. Although many of the children were reluctant to read at first, after several weeks, they would run up to me right away and request to read their favorite books. This experience showed me that our work with Global Give-A-Book makes a massive difference in expanding children’s horizons and getting them excited about reading, which will only improve their pre-literacy journeys.


Each time I attend a GGAB event or visit one of our many outstanding partners, it reaffirms my belief in the work we are doing to promote youth literacy. There is a real need for more books in the community and more encouragement for children to read at home, on their own. However, with Global Give-A-Book’s wide-reaching range of programs, we are making a real difference in the lives of children. With your help, we can empower the next generation and ensure every child has the resources needed to thrive.




 

United, we can bridge the divide in book access.

Donating to Global Give-A-Book is a meaningful investment in the future of underserved children.


Your contribution directly supports our mission to provide quality books to children who need them the most and empower children with the tools for success.


 


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