Children’s book author donates more than 120,000 books to Newark third-graders
We were elated to learn this week from our member in New Jersey that a well-known children’s book author had donated books to every third-grader in the Newark Public School District. Mary Pope Osborne, author of the Magic Tree House series, was inspired by child advocates like KIDS COUNT and Advocates for Children of New Jersey, a Voices member organization.
“If a child is not reading proficiently by third grade, that child will struggle for years to catch up,” Cecilia Zalkind, executive director of Advocates for Children of New Jersey, is quoted in an article on Osborne’s generosity. “Third grade is when children must start reading to learn, rather than learning to read.”
Osborne decided to donate after learning from our New Jersey member that only 38 percent of Newark’s city’s third-graders attending traditional public schools had passed the state’s third-grade language arts test in 2010. In all, her donation is more than 120,000 books, including sets given to third grade teachers for the classroom.
Thank you, Mary Pope Osborne, and thank you, too, Advocates for Children of New Jersey. Learn more about how well American students are reading in a new report released this week from Voices.