Book Buddies Early Literacy Program

Community Support to Build a Child's Home Library
Boy reading Otis by Loren Long

Connecting local businesses with early learning centers.  Placing books into the hands and homes of children.

Did you know?

  • More than one-third of American children enter kindergarten without the basic language skills they need to learn to read. Those critical early literacy skills include recognizing the letters of the alphabet, understanding that print moves from left to right, and being able to understand and tell stories.
  • Studies have also shown that 61% of low income children have no children’s books in their homes.
  • Books play an important role in children’s social and academic development, and the process of reading, listening, questioning and responding to a story helps to build reflective and critical thinking.

Responding to this need and eager to foster stronger home-school connections, Edward Street Child Services created the Book Buddies Program. The goal of the program is to increase a child’s early literacy skills by building a home library of developmentally appropriate books. Edward Street recruits local businesses willing to adopt a preschool classroom in a Worcester child care center serving low-income families.  

The Book Buddy company’s sponsorship purchases three books a year (November, January and April) for each child. Classroom teachers, or a celebrity reader(s) from the company, read the book to the children. Teachers also create thematic activities in the classroom related to the story. Each child then brings the book home to keep, building their own home libraries. Listening to, and participating in book-related activities stimulates children’s literacy and critical thinking skills.

If you would like to explore becoming a Book Buddies Sponsor, please contact Rose Hayes, Director of Special Projects, at rhayes@edwardstreet.org.

Project Status: 
Active