July 7, 2016
Dorothy Fuchs, Purple Dot PR
Phone: 410-598-1719 cell
Carrie Finkelstein, Baltimore Campaign for Grade Level Reading
Phone: 410-864-0410 office
The Baltimore Campaign for Grade Level Reading Celebrates
NATIONAL SUMMER LEARNING DAY
with Unveiling of a “Little Free Library” At Lexington Market on July 14
Partnership with Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake Aims to Provide a Total of 35 Little Free Libraries Throughout Baltimore City to Encourage Kids and Families to Read Every Day
July 7, 2016- Baltimore, MD – In celebration of National Summer Learning Day, the Baltimore Campaign for Grade Level Reading will host an unveiling for its Little Free Library Project on July 14th at 11:00 a.m. at the Lexington Market. Over 25 community, business and civic leaders are expected to attend this kick-off event that will feature a short program, presentation and light refreshments. The event is part of National Summer Learning Day, an advocacy day led by the National Summer Learning Association to elevate the importance of keeping kids learning, safe, and healthy every summer
The Little Free Library Project aims to help prevent summer reading loss and encourage daily reading throughout the year. Research shows that low income children can lose up to two months of reading achievement during the summer months, while their middle class peers make slight gains. While access to books in the home is an important element in ensuring children stay engaged in reading over the summer months, 53 percent of fourth graders in Baltimore City have fewer than 26 books at home and one in five has fewer than ten according to the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress.
The Little Free Library Project is a partnership between the Baltimore Campaign for Grade Level Reading, Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake and local community organizations to provide up to 35 Little Free Libraries throughout the city to encourage daily reading, increase access to books and foster community engagement around reading. Little Free Libraries are places where anyone can come at anytime to “take or a leave a book” with the goal of encouraging daily reading.
“Reducing summer learning loss is a critical component in the Campaign’s goal of having all of Baltimore’s students reading on grade level by the end of 3rd Grade. We are so excited to be working with Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake and community partners like Lexington Market to increase easy access to books this summer and throughout the year,” said Roger Schulman, President and CEO of the Fund for Educational Excellence, host organization for the Campaign.
To-date, over 8,000 books have been distributed through the project in 16 locations ranging from neighborhood barbershops to local community centers to faith based organizations. Each Little Free Library has been constructed by hand and has its own unique design, color scheme and message that “reading is everywhere.”
ABOUT THE BALTIMORE CAMPAIGN FOR GRADE LEVEL READING
The Baltimore Campaign for Grade Level Reading is building strategies to promote fluent reading by 3rd grade. The Campaign is a Coalition of over 120 public agencies, funders, non-profit organizations, community leaders, and other key stakeholders that aims to ensure all Baltimore City public school students are reading well by the end of 3rd grade through various programs, initiatives and creative campaigns such as the “Little Free Libraries.”The core focus areas for the Campaign include school readiness, school, extended learning opportunities and attendance.
ABOUT HABITAT FOR HUMANITY OF THE CHESEPEAKE
Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake (www.habitatchesapeake.org) brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope. Since 1982, Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake has partnered with more than 700 families in Baltimore City, and Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Howard counties through home construction, rehabilitation and repairs, and by increasing access to improved shelter through products and services. Habitat Chesapeake also advocates to improve access to decent and affordable shelter and offers a variety of housing support services that enable families with limited means to make needed improvements on their homes as their time and resources allow.
ABOUT THE LEXINGTON MARKET
Lexington Market is the oldest market in America. Founded in 1782 at the site where it stands today, Lexington has served Baltimore and surrounding communities for more than nine generations. Today, the market has more than 100 vendors, offering everything from world famous crab cakes to fried chicken, authentic Indian delicacies to corned beef, fresh seafood to verdant produce.