Friday, August 3, 2012

Activist Alert!

Support Children's Literacy Funding in FY13
Ask Your Congressional Reps to Support Continued Funding for Literacy

The House and Senate Appropriations committees have begun considering their funding bills for 2013. But only the Senate version contains funding for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program,  which supports high-quality programs designed to develop and improve literacy skills for children and students from birth through 12th grade within the attendance boundaries of high-need local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools.  The U.S. Department of Education and other agencies, such as Reading Is Fundamental, use these funds to support innovative programs that promote early literacy for young children, motivate older children to read, and increase student achievement by using school libraries, distributing free books to children and their families, and offering high-quality literacy activities.

Many schools and districts across the Nation do not have school libraries that deliver high-quality literacy programming to children and their families.  Additionally, many schools do not have qualified library media specialists and library facilities.  Where facilities do exist, they are often under-resourced and lack adequate books and other materials.  In many communities, high-need children and students have limited access to appropriate age- and grade-level reading material in their homes.   The IAL program supports the implementation of high-quality plans for childhood literacy activities and book distribution efforts that are supported by at least one study that meets the definition of scientifically valid research.

As Congress is now at work drafting the 2013 budget, it’s critical that this investment in children’s literacy remains. Unfortunately, the House spending measure eliminates funding for the IAL program. 

Please call your Congressional Representative today at the capitol switchboard (202.224.3121) and ask him or her to support the IAL program! To find direct contact information for members of Congress, click here.

For more information about how you can support literacy and libraries, visit the NCBLA's "Become an Activist" page.