803-779-4875

Why We Work

School Success, Impact of Books and Reading to Kids, Imagination Library

In South Carolina, it is estimated that one-third of South Carolina children do not have the literacy skills needed to be successful in kindergarten.  Recent testing suggests that as much as 67% of the state’s third graders are not reading at grade-appropriate levels.  Children who fall behind in reading proficiency are more likely to drop out of school, be unemployed, and live in poverty.

Having books at home is the key to a child’s success.  It sounds too simple to be true, but research has shown than children growing up in homes with books get three years more schooling than children from bookless homes, regardless of income or their parents’ education.

School Success Starts with Books at Home

School Success

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Literacy Skills

An estimated one-third of South Carolina children do not have literacy skills needed to be successful in kindergarten.

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State Standards

66.7% of third graders testing below state standards in reading.

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State Standards

51.7% of eighth-graders testing below state standards in reading.

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Grade Level Reading

13% of children ages 6 to 17 who repeated one or more grades since starting kindergarten.

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Graduation Rates

26% of high school students are not graduating on time.

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Home Exposure to Reading

60,700 children under age 6 read with family members less than 3 days per week.

Impact of Books and Reading to Children

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The single most important activity to prepare a child for a life of learning was to read frequently with the child, preferably every single day.

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Children growing up in homes with many books end up with three years more schooling than children from bookless homes, independent of their parents’ education, occupation, and class.

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Children with as few as 25 books in the family household completed on average two more years of schooling than children raised in homes without any books.

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According to research, many households have no age-appropriate books available for children, a problem that is especially prevalent in low-income households where over 60% of low-income families do not have a single book suitable for a child. A home without age-appropriate books negatively impacts a child’s ability to arrive at school prepared to learn.

Impact of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

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New research has demonstrated that children who participate in the program are significantly more likely to finish high school, go to college, and maintain steady employment than others.

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Up to 75% of DPIL parents read more to their children after receiving the Imagination Library.

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The longer a child is enrolled in the Imagination Library the more likely there will be an increase in the frequency of reading with the child.

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Five-year-old “graduates” of the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library are 30% more likely to be kindergarten ready.

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Of those participating in the Imagination Library 48% of the kindergarten and 64% of the Pre-K teachers said these students performed better than expected or much better than expected. For those not participating in the Imagination Library, these numbers were 10% and 11% respectively.

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Imagination Library books benefit other siblings in the family who are not enrolled in Imagination Library themselves. Books are often shared with siblings, other relatives, and friends.

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Studies have shown for every $1 invested in pre-kindergarten produces an $8.24 long-term return to society.

Make a Difference in South Carolina

An estimated one-third of South Carolina child do not have literacy skills needed to be successful in kindergarten. Help us change that!

Contact us

Call Us

(803) 779-4875

Our Location

My First Books SC
Palmetto Project
4500 Fort Jackson Boulevard, Suite 150

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