Did you know that the first 2,000 days of every person’s life are foundational?

Studies show that a child’s experiences during those early years literally build the architecture of their brain. Making the most of every child’s 2,000-day journey from birth to Kindergarten is essential, and we know that all families can use support along the way to do this. Research proves that having at least 20 age-appropriate books in the home can improve a child’s educational success, and the Success By 6 ATX Coalition (SX6) is making bold moves to provide those 20-books to all families in ATX! United Ways of Texas recently helped us make headway on this goal by granting United Way ATX with an OMG Book Award! Together, with SX6 Coalition partner BookSpring we distributed 16,899 books to thousands of families in Austin/Travis County utilizing this grant!

BookSpring book drive

“Ninety percent of brain development happens within the 2,000 days from birth to Kindergarten, so an early childhood full of rich experiences is essential for happy, healthy children who are ready to succeed in school and in life.

 – Cathy McHorse, VP of Success By 6

Today in Austin 34,000 children under six in Travis County live in households with low income, and 61% of those children do not enter Kindergarten ready for school. In 2019 our coalition launched version three of a strategic plan aimed at slashing that statistic. With our coalitions bold goal to ensure that all children in Austin/Travis County enter Kindergarten ready to succeed we are strategically providing families with the support they need for us to all get there. The strategic plan lays out four main goals, one of which is Supported Families. To achieve that goal, we work to ensure families have access to and use the resources that provide them with the knowledge, skills, confidence, and social supports to positively nurture the health, safety, and development of their children. We are grateful to work with organizations like BookSpring that take tangible action to further this goal. 

The OMG Book Award helped us work towards our goals in exciting and interactive ways. BookSpring and other partners were able to serve more families by hosting many different distribution events around Austin/Travis County, meeting families where they were, and providing diverse reads in both English and Spanish.

“The children were so excited about the books they got to pick. There were several asking the teachers to read their books to them. They were anxious to show their parents their books. Some of the parents took the time to sit down and look at their child’s books before leaving.” -Child Inc Brodie 

We know that one of the most rewarding ways for children to build better brains and relationships is through the gift of reading, but that can be challenging to families who don’t have access to reading materials in their preferred language, and when books don’t reflect their culture. The SX6 Coalition is proud of the strides we are making to honor these needs when providing books to local families.

“The selection of books is always outstanding, there’s a book for every age and interest. Because early literacy is a new concept to our moms and children, it may take some time for reading to become part of their daily lives. We no doubt saw a lot of curiosity, interest, and participation on the children’s part as mom read to them during the activity!” – AVANCE

BookSpring book drive

Our SX6 Coalition is making solid strides to help all children in Austin/Travis County grow into contributing, productive, thriving members of our community – but we can’t walk alone. Join us in prioritizing, investing, and acting over the next 2,000 days to give our kids the best possible start in life. Learn more about the Success By 6 Coalition, and how you can get involved in the great work were doing in ATX!

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