Local nonprofit organization Literacy Now, which is dedicated to transforming communities by empowering children and families through literacy, leadership and life skills, will host the event, the organization announced in December.
Houstonians looking to volunteer and spread the gift of literacy through the city will join 400 others reading to students and supporting an expansion of Literacy Now. To be eligible, a volunteer must register by Feb. 1 at this link.
“It is an honor to serve the students of HISD through Literacy Now programs, and we are eager to reach even more students through our Houston Reads Day event,” Executive Director Jacque Daughtry said in a news release. “As in all cities across the county and across the globe, the pandemic has had a devastating impact on the children we serve. We encourage anyone interested in volunteering to join us in March.”
Volunteers will read to 10,000 kindergarten through third-grade students across 25 Houston ISD schools. Houston Reads Day will take place virtually due to COVID-19 safety recommendations.
The event comes as 41% of young children are not ready for kindergarten, while 63% of third-graders do not read at grade level, according to the news release. In addition, a recent Gulf Coast Coronavirus (COVID-19) Community Impact Survey found that 9 in 10 Houston families with children under age 18 reported that the pandemic has had negative impacts on education and schooling.
Literacy Now works directly with HISD and on community sites throughout the city to provide readiness and reading intervention programs to support children in at-risk situations.