'My Home Library' Hopes To Close Book Gap

A part of the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, My Home Library helps close the book gap by delivering books on kids' wishlists to their doorsteps. Children from working-class families in the Houston area can each select six books to receive through the program, which is funded via tax-deductible $30 donations from the public.

Book wishlists from students at Houston's Browning Elementary School and other schools in the pilot program will appear on the My Home Library website sometime next week, according to the Houston Chronicle. Wishlists are searchable by name, teacher, or school, allowing donors to give money toward a specific list. Unspecified donations may also be made.

Home libraries are just as important as parents' education levels in determining a child's future success. A 20-year study conducted by researchers from the University of Nevada, Reno found that having a 500-book home library lengthened a child's academic career by 3.2 years — the same advantage held by those with university-educated parents. Home libraries also increase students' test-taking skills, and "[r]egardless of how many books the family already has, each addition to the home library helps children do better." Having books in the home benefits all children, regardless of race, class, or nationality.

Find out more about how you can help improve children's literacy by visiting the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, which connects with Houston-area organizations to collect money and new or used books for children.