Book Deserts in Tribal Communities

All children deserve access to education and the opportunity to fall in love with learning

“It is a return on investment question: Do we heavily invest in literacy and children 0-10 (3rd grade) or do we wait to incarcerate them later?” Dr. Anthony Chow is the Director of the School of Information at San José State University. And he is ambitious about the future all children deserve.

He will present to the Rotary Club of Eugene Metropolitan about Reading Nation Waterfall – an innovative research-based project partnering with five tribal communities in three different states committed to early literacy and lifelong learning.

“We found that despite Blackfoot parents seeing the value of reading to the future of their children, many of those children, due to a complex and interconnected web of barriers, appear to be growing up in book deserts with little access to books (Chow, LaFrombosie, & Roy, 2019).”

This collaborative project is creating a network of libraries and community partners “to maximize access and convenience while removing time, cost, and affordability as fundamental barriers” to culturally relevant books, programs, and resources.

“I believe community organizations like the Rotary, libraries, and other literacy champions have to help our schools and school libraries; they need our help and advocacy to be allowed to do what they do best – ensure our children are trans-literate. Not just reading anymore but also STEM, digital, cyberbullying, information security and privacy.
I look forward to rolling up our sleeves and championing our children together – all children. They all deserve a fair and equal chance for a life well lived,” Dr. Chow says of their heartfelt mission and vision.

Join your friends in downtown Eugene Tuesday, November 1st, 2022 at The Davis Restaurant or comment below for the Zoom link to join us online. Check your local time zone, we meet at 6 pm Pacific every week. As always, all are welcome!

2 Responses

  1. Thank you for this wonderful project! Will there be consideration of having adults read with these children?

    1. Thanks, Brian! We were so thrilled to learn more about them. And yes, they are working with parents and other adults. That is such a critical part of creating that early love of reading <3

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