Did you know that children that cannot read proficiently by the end of 4th grade are four times more likely to leave high school without a diploma? Students in large urban districts, are at a greater risk because often they begin school knowing 30 MILLION fewer words than their suburban peers. Just Like Me actively works with schools to promote a love of reading and support classroom learning in an effort to address that gap. But we recognize that focusing only on schools limits our reach and doesn’t address the full scope of the problem. In order to elicit a lasting and sustainable impact we need to think outside the box on how to create a community that encourages reading at every level.
Just Like Me Book Nooks are a community-based initiative that creates child friendly reading spaces in barbershops, salons, laundromats, doctor’s offices – anywhere children wait- to increase out-of-school time reading among high-risk readers. The average barbershop visit is between 30-45 minutes and the average salon visit is double that. Research has shown that if a student reads for 20 minutes everyday they will hear 1.8 million words per year. An extra 2 million words per year would go a long way in closing the 30 million gap.