About Books for a Change

Our Story

About 4 years ago, my family and I took a trip to Brazil in order to visit relatives. While there, I visited a local public "daycare" in order to donate various toys and goods that we had collected. For those of you who may not know, in Brazil and other countries the government funds for public daycares to take care of children whose working parents have no means to take care of them during the daytime. When I arrived, I expected to see a simple center, one with small children running around carelessly playing and reading. What I saw was completely different. The kids, varying in age but mostly around 3-5 years old looked very worn out and tired, playing with the limited amount of toys that they had available.

When a child reaches the age of 6, they are no longer allowed to go to the daycare and thus begin to attend a local elementary school. The kids from this daycare and thousands of others from all over Brazil, lacking the foundation of reading and concepts learned from books, enter the education system unprepared, falling behind many other children. Already behind as a young child entering the system, many of the children are required to repeat grade levels causing an increase in the likelihood of poor future educational performance and dropout rates. A study conducted by the EFA/PRELAC found that the rate for repetition in elementary school grade levels in Brazil is 24.5%, most children coming from areas of poverty. You see, a problem as simple as a lack of books in a daycare, can lead to a very bright child to losing hold of a promising future, continuing through the path of poverty and violence that prevails in the favelas and poor suburbs in Brazil.

From this issue, the organization Books for a Change was created.

Want to learn more about our project? Press HERE!