Just what is "The Gap?" We are hearing the term more frequently as early
literacy leaders and nonprofits are waving a red flag trying to get our
attention. We have learned that there is a significant educational and
literacy gap among the children of various socio-economic groups in
contemporary America. We know that 90% of the development of a child's brain
happens before age 6, which leads us to understand that the roots of this
disparity begin at a very early age. And there is no secret to how it begins.
60% of low-income American children grow up in houses that have zero books.
80% of our pre-schools and after school programs have no books. But, what
are we going to do about it?
At REadingADvantage we believe we can do something. By pulling together with
other nonprofits, local libraries, schools and funders, we can supply
children with books from birth on. We can provide low-income homes with a
home library. We can talk to parents and encourage them to read every day to
their children, talk with their children, play with their children, and help
their children explore the world around them. We can make a difference ... one
child, one book at a time.
• Doug Perez, PhD., READ Board of Directors
April 2017: April is National Read Aloud Month! See an article in the
Pregnancy & Newborn.
Our READ Spotlight shines on Deborah Polk, one of our READ co-founders
and President of the READ Board of Directors.
Read Deborah's own words
as she describes why she is so passionate about REadingADvantage's
All of our events are now open to the public.
See a list.
More about us
Why we are here
Programs and objectives
Did you know? Sobering facts about
low income families and literacy.
Words ... words ... words ... how do babies develop their vocabulary?
Quite simply, they learn from hearing the words of the people around them.
"If the child has never heard the word, the child will never say the word;
and if you have neither heard it nor said it, it's pretty tough to read it
and to write it." (From Jim Trelease's introduction in Read-aloud Rhymes for
the Very Young, selected by Jack Prelutsky, illustrated by Marc Brown, New
York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1986.)
Infographics and Handouts
The Word Gap. (jpg, 403 KB) By age 3, economicaly advantaged children
know more than twice as many words as economically disadvantaged ones.
Beyond the word gap. (PDF, 5.6 MB) Language and learning develop
in the context of early relationships.
Everyday Ways to Support Your Baby's and Toddler's Early Learning. (PDF, 680 KB) A handy, printable
chart with practical suggestions.