Access Books

Access Books is the recipient of a $30,480.00 grant, which will be used to update and refurbish 2 inner-city school libraries. The schools will each receive at least 3,000 new books, a new sofa and rocking chair and a new area rug. In addition, the libraries will be repainted with child-friendly murals. Started in 1999, Access Books is based on the premise that in order to learn by reading, a child must have something to read. Research has validated the close correlation that exists between successful reading and the number of books in school libraries. In fact, the size of the school library collection is the best predictor of academic achievement. Among school and community predictors of academic achievement, the size of the school library collection and staff is second only to the absence of poverty. The more books children have access to in their school libraries, the more they will read. The goal of Access Books is to provide high interest, enjoyable reading materials to underserved children in Los Angeles in a warm, welcoming school library. They choose schools to receive their services where at least 90% of the student body is living in poverty, the average number of books per child is six or less, libraries have been neglected and little or no funding is received from other sources. Each new library becomes a vital resource for educators and idle space becomes a bustling hub of interested, engaged students. By creating this type of environment and providing literacy opportunities for underserved children, Women Helping Youth hopes that these youth will find joy in reading, which will in turn increase their academic opportunities.