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Virtual book drive in Valley aims to bolster literacy among children

PHOENIX — The local “Grow A Reader” program is aiming to put more books in the hands of children, who could benefit significantly from getting ahead on literacy at a young age.

(Photo courtesy of Southwest Human Development)

(Photo courtesy of Southwest Human Development)

In an effort to ensure that kids are successful when they enter school, Southwest Human Development has paired with businesses around the Valley with the “Grow A Reader” program, where patrons can “pick a flower” and go online to buy a book for a child.

Southwest Human Development, an Arizona non-profit dedicated to early childhood development, said the average child has 13 books at home, but low-income neighborhoods see just one book for every 300 children.

“Unfortunately, lots of kids arrive in kindergarten unprepared and without the early literacy skills they need to be successful,” chief development officer Jake Adams said in a statement. “They tend to be the same kids that start behind and stay behind. We’re trying to change that.”

Businesses where you can get a flower include places like CVS Pharmacy, Jason’s Deli, Jobot Coffee & Diner, Spinato’s Pizzeria and more. Click here for a full list of participating businesses.

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