Read more.  The following bibliography has informed every decision that went into creating this non-profit.  Maybe these authors will inspire you, too.

Anderson, R.C. and Nagy, W.E. (1992). The vocabulary conundrum. American Educator, 16, 14-18, Washington, DC.

Anderson, Wilson, and Fielding (1988). Growth in reading and how children spend their time outside of school. Reading Research Quarterly 23: 285-303.

Arthur, J. E. (1995). What is the effect of recreational reading on reading achievement of middle grade students? ERIC Document Reproduction Service NO. ED 391 143.

Chapman, G. (2010). Let them have books: How every child can become reading proficient in school.  Retrieved from:

Culbreth, J. Rock Solid Readers.  How to help your child become a standout student. Reader's Digest.  Retrieved from: 

Eliminate the 30 million word gap! LEAF: Literacy Empowers All Families. Sarasota, Fl.
This poster is appropriate for posting in your community's "Read to Feed the Mind" distribution center.  Although a bit wordy, it contains valuable information that informs caregivers about the simple steps they can take to enrich their children's home language experiences.  

Gallagher, K. (2009). Readicide: How schools are killing reading and what you can do about it. Portland, ME: Stenhouse.
Gallagher says that, “If students don’t have books, they will never develop into readers. If students only read in school, they will never become lifelong readers. In fact, I contend that teachers whose students read only in school ensure that their students will forever remain behind grade level” (p. 46).

“. . . students who read for fun almost every day outside of school scored higher on the NAEP
assessment of reading achievement than children who read for fun only once or twice a
week, who in turn outscored children who read for fun outside of school only once or twice a
month, who in turn outscored children who hardly ever read for fun outside of school.”

Hanford, E. (2009). Early Lessons. American Radio Works:  American Public Media, 
A radio broadcast, which aired on December 28, 2009, discusses the implications of preschool on America's children from impoverished homes.  The implications are broad, but the findings support the importance of programs like "Read to Feed the Mind."  Reading to, with and by children from the earliest years has life-long implications for individual school success, future workplace success, and personal life satisfaction.  One of the troubling findings is that children from affluent homes are likely to attend quality preschools, while our nations poorest children are unlikely to produce meaningful gains in learning and development.

Follow the link to listen to the podcast, read the transcript or read an ebook prepared by American Radio Works.

Hart, B., Risley, T.R. (2003). The early catastrophe. American Educator. Washington, DC. 
The original study that found a discrepancy in the quality and quantity of language children are exposed to in homes of varying economic classes.  The results are alarming and should move many into action for the benefit of our nation's children.


Adding ten minutes of reading time dramatically changes levels of print exposure.  Educator's Briefing (2008).  Retrieved from: 

Based on research by Richard Allington, it appears that giving students from poverty a dozen books at the beginning of summer is as effective as summer school...and a lot cheaper!

Dr Constantino has set a goal of giving away one million books to children in schools of poverty in Los Angeles

An article in USA Today reports on evidence that fourth grade students show indications that predict who will graduate and who will drop out.  Reading proficiency is a key indicator.

A poll by the Pearson Foundation finds that the majority of Americans are unaware of the realities that impoverished families face, and the obstacles that these families' lack of access to books creates for children.

A very readable essay done on the concept of volume reading and reading fluency can be found at the Balanced Reading site:

NY Times piece on John Wood who sets up libraries in Vietnam because he passionately believes that books are a part of the solution out of poverty. His Libraries, 12,000 So Far, Change Lives. Krostof, Nicholas D. Retrieved November 6, 2011

Wood, John (2006) Leaving Microsoft to Change the World. Collins, A Division of Harper Collins

Students who read 65 minutes a day will be reading 4,356,000 words each year while some of our most proficient students read upwards of more than 12 million words a year. Students who read ~15 minutes a day will read 1,146,000 words each year.  Our poorest readers only read a little over 100,000 words each year.  

Anderson, R. C.,Wilson, P.T.,& Fielding, L.G. (1988). Growth in reading and how children spend their time outside of school. Reading Research Quarterly, 23, 285-303.

Cunningham and Stanovich analyze the need for reading volume if readers are to become both proficient and avid.
“The average child at the 90th percentile reads almost two million words per year outside of school—more than 200 times more words than the child at the 10th percentile, who reads just 8,000 words outside of school during a year. To put it another way, the entire year’s out-of-school reading for the child at the 10th percentile amounts to just two days of reading for the child at the 90th percentile. These dramatic differences, combined with the lexical richness of print, act to create large vocabulary differences between children” (p. 4).