The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, the largest book and storytelling festival in the country, has announced Access Books as its official charitable partner. The Times is challenging readers and festival-goers to help Access Books raise $100,000 to fund the transformation of at least four school libraries in underserved communities in Los Angeles. The Times’ Reading by 9 fund will match all donations up to $100,000. Access Books will update the libraries to create more comfortable and welcoming environments, as well as paint murals and provide new books and supplies.
Research shows that the best predictor of reading ability is access to books, and when it comes to schools serving communities with high poverty rates, having a quality library for students is especially important.
Access Books is a volunteer-run organization dedicated to transforming school libraries in Los Angeles’ most underserved neighborhoods. Each library served receives thousands of new, quality books, a new coat of paint, and dozens of literacy-themed murals that make the library more inviting. This year, Access Books is excited to celebrate the transformation of our 300th library and 1.7 million books given!
The Los Angeles Times and Access Books will work together on a variety of literacy-themed events throughout the year associated with Reading by 9, including the annual reading guide. The Los Angeles Times and Access Books will focus their partnership on increasing literacy among children by funding the purchase of new books and refurbishing more school libraries in communities that need it most.