Writers Who Run Race - Literacy Partners
We are passionate about reading and hope for worldwide literacy. Each year, the goal of the race is to collect new and gently used children's books published within the last 10 years to donate to our Literacy Partner. In addition to donating books, we donate 50% of all the race profits to help more people learn to read - both children and adults. Here are a few shocking literacy statistics.
- 1 in 4 children in America grow up without learning how to read.
- Over 70% of America's inmates cannot read above a 4th grade level.
- 2/3 of students who cannot read proficiently by the end of 4th grade will end up in jail or on welfare.
- Students who don't read proficiently by the 3rd grade are 4 times likelier to drop out of school.
- 53% of 4th graders admitted to reading recreationally almost daily, while only 20% of 8th graders did.
- 63 million US citizens over 16 can only read at a 5th grade level or lower.
- Adult low literacy can be connected to almost every socio-economic issue in the US.
- Children from low-income homes hear as many as 30 million fewer words than their more affluent peers.
- By age five, a typical middle-class child recognizes 22 letters of the alphabet, compared to 9 for a child from a low-income family.
- As early as age three, a child's vocabulary can predict third-grade reading achievement.
- In many rural communities, the school library is the only place where children can access books.
- If children don't get the help they need to learn to read, then the gaps between struggling and strong readers widen and worsen as they grow.
- More than 60% of low-income families have no children's books in their home.
- Reading and being read aloud to has an impact that extends beyond just hearing stories.
- More than 80% of children from economically disadvantaged communities lose reading skills over the summer because they lack access to books.
- Having books in the home and reading to your child benefits them in ways you may never know.
- Children who are read to at least three times a week by a family member are almost twice as likely to score in the top 25% in reading compared to children who are read to less than 3 times a week.
- Children with greater access to books and other print materials express more enjoyment of books, reading, and academics.
- Children growing up in homes with at least 20 books get 3 years more schooling than children from bookless homes, independent of their parents' education, occupation, and class.
- Children's books actually contain 50% more rare words than primetime television or even college students' conversations.
- The nurturing and one-on-one attention from parents during reading aloud encourages children to form a positive association with books and reading later in life.
- About 1 in 6 adults, or 36 million Americans, have less than a basic literacy level.
- The more literacy instruction we provide throughout a child's progression through school, the better the outcomes for our students, our communities, and our nation.
This Year's Literacy Sponsor
For 2023, we have chosen to work with Read 2 Succeed (R2S), an Asheville-based independent literacy nonprofit on a mission to help close the race-based opportunity gap through community-powered literacy programming. R2S reaches over 150 Pre-K to Elementary students every week through one-to-one tutoring, literacy trainings and workshops, family reading events, and more. Learn more at r2sasheville.org.
We are requesting that you bring culturally-diverse books to donate at the race. They would love to receive as many books as possible that feature Black main characters and/or books written by Black authors. Books can be dropped off when you pick up your race registration packet.
Past Literacy Sponsors
2023 Literacy Partner
Read 2 Succeed Asheville/Buncombe (NC)
GOAL: 500 books and $1,500 in donations.
2020, 2021, 2022: WE DID NOT HOLD THE RACE DURING THESE YEARS.
2019 Literacy Partners:
Rabun County Schools (GA)
Ferst Readers (GA)
2018 Literacy Partner:
Burke County Literacy Council (NC)
We collected over 200 books! These books were placed in doctor's offices, pediatrician offices, and the waiting rooms of Health Department and Social Services buildings as well as in the homes of lower-income families.
2017 Literacy Partner:
McDowell County School System (NC)
We collected 21 books, including an original signed author copy of one book and $50 in donations.
2016 Literacy Partner:
Greenville Literacy Association (SC)
The books we collected were donated to GLA for local families and also for their annual fundraiser, "The Really Good, Really Big, Really Cheap Book Sale".