On January 5th; HUD, Dept. of Education, and President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Task Force along with the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (GLR), the National Book Foundation (NBF) and the Urban Libraries Council (ULC) launched the Book-Rich Environment Initiative at Washington, D.C.’s Southwest Public Library. HUD Secretary Julian Castro, Dept. of Education Secretary John King, and My Brother’s Keeper Task Force Chair Broderick Johnson along with Adrianne Todman, Executive Director of the District of Columbia Housing Authority spoke about the importance of education as the key to opening the door to future opportunities.
The Book-Rich Environment Initiative has three major components – Book Distribution, Partnership Building, and Library Engagement. Book Distribution will launch in Spring 2017 with local events that will introduce children and families to their local library, summer learning and literacy, and preparing to go back to school and success in the next grade level. Partnership building will focus on creating strong local partnerships between HUD-assisted housing providers; such as PHAs; with their local library, local and national non-profits and foundation, and the children and family served by these organizations. Library engagement between PHAs, the children and families living in HUD-assisted properties, and the local library is essential to keeping children engaged in reading. Engagement strategies include mobile libraries in public housing buildings, summer learning opportunities and registering children and families for library cards.
NAHRO attended the Book-Rich Environment Initiative launch and continues to partner with the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and HUD on promoting and improving the education outcomes of children living in HUD-assisted properties.
More information on the Book-Rich Environment Initiative can be found, here, in HUD’s press release.