Children who grow up in homes with books, research shows, have much higher reading scores and go farther in the education system than others. But many children can’t get books at home because their families just don’t have the money or have other problems. The AFT partners with First Book to help reduce the achievement gap between low-income and middle-class students. First Book has distributed more than 90 million new books to children across the United States, many of whom could not afford them.
AFT is part of an exciting public-private partnership to improve educational, social and economic support for McDowell County, W.Va.
In March 2012, the AFT helped lead a public-private partnership to help struggling McDowell County, W.Va., and the participants were hopeful that things could be turned around economically and educationally. A year later, the Reconnecting McDowell project has begun to show that investment in communities can change people's lives.
Students at the 19 schools in Jefferson Parish, La., are getting more than 50,000 new books and, best of all, those books are free. Last week, the Jefferson Federation of Teachers (an AFT affiliate), union and community volunteers began sorting the 2,000 boxes of books that will be distributed during the next month. The book distribution is part of a nationwide joint project between AFT and First Book, a nonprofit organization that distributes books to children from low-income families