Donation by Tobias Harris brings Thousands of Books to Children
(Philadelphia – May 20, 2020) – Kids at six Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) developments are adding to their home libraries, thanks to a partnership between the agency and Ready by 4th, a citywide campaign managed by the Free Library of Philadelphia, and Tobias Lit Labs, a philanthropic program run by 76ers star Tobias Harris. The donation by Harris, who’s an avid reader, has allowed children at six PHA sites to select 5 new books each for their home libraries.
“Reading is a key ingredient to success and I’m happy to be able to support getting books in children’s homes,” Harris said.
“We’re deeply grateful to Tobias Harris for his generous and thoughtful donation. I passionately believe that education is a game changer. Learning to read at an early age is the foundation for a good education,” said PHA President and CEO Kelvin A. Jeremiah.
“We’re thrilled to receive this donation from Tobias Harris and Lit Labs that will benefit kids who live at PHA sites and others across Philadelphia,” said Jenny Bogoni, Executive Director of Read by 4th. “It’s important for children to learn to read at grade level by the time the reach 4th grade so they can become the next entrepreneurs, physicists, doctors or history teachers that contribute to improving our city’s neighborhoods and economy.”‘
Read by 4th is a coalition of partners working to protect every child’s right to read while putting in place common strategies to ensure that kids read at grade level by the time they enter the 4th grade. The organization is delivering approximately 25,000 books to children and families through its partnership with Tobias Lit Labs in Philadelphia during the current health emergency. PHA is the first recipient of these books. The other donations will include schools, churches, and community groups.
Fourth grade is the year when instruction shifts from learning to read to reading to learn. As a result, students who are not reading proficiently by the 4th grade may struggle in school and fall behind their peers. Research has shown that all children are capable of making great strides in their reading ability as long as they have support from adults inside and outside the classroom.
Read by 4th partners have six goals that include recruiting a Reading Captain for every block in Philadelphia, creating literacy rich neighborhoods, and supporting perfect school attendance each week because every day counts, start to finish.