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Book report: A lot of Southern Colorado kids struggling to read

Posted at 6:45 PM, Aug 28, 2023

COLORADO SPRINGS — Books remain essential in a world rapidly changing with technology.

“Books are critical to how you use your imagination. It's how we grow. And you get yourself lost in a book. And I think it's absolutely important,” said Colorado Springs Children’s Literacy Center Executive Director, Gina Solazzi.

Solazzi is passionate about aiding kids needing help with their reading skills.

It is the same for the center’s many volunteers who helped close to 600 local kids last year.

“Our kids are our infrastructure because they're our future,” said Solazzi, “If they're not reading, we have a responsibility to them, to make sure they have the skills to participate in the community,”

Evidence shows that kids who are reading well by the 3rd grade are more likely to succeed in future grades and careers.

Close to 60% of 3rd-grade kids in the Pikes Peak Region are not reading at their grade level.

“You can imagine, if you can't read, you're not going to participate in class a lot, you're not going to raise your hand, you're not quite sure what's happening,” said Solazzi.

A parent, relative, or anyone reading to a kid, transitions to them reading on their own.

If they are struggling with their reading skills the Children’s Literacy Center offers one-on-one help for free.

“The good news is it's a skill that kids can get, and we can help them when they're behind. We can give them the skills to get better,” said Solazzi.

When it comes to learning to read the earlier the better.

Click here to learn more about tutoring and volunteering.

At KOAA, we believe giving children books can take them to new places, open their imaginations, fuel big dreams, plant the seeds for future success and help break the cycle of poverty.

Our annual "If You Give a Child a Book" campaign began August 28. During the campaign, News5 will be partnering with Title 1 schools to give books to underserved kindergarten through third-grade students living in poverty.

Every $6 you donate will result in one free book for a student hoping to have a bright future.

The overall goal is to help these children build home libraries made up of age-appropriate and culturally relevant books that feature those with different abilities, cultures, beliefs, races and ethnicities.

KOAA and the Scripps Howard Foundation recognize that an impoverished environment often leads to children receiving a lack of access to reading resources, a lower reading proficiency, and a struggle to adequately complete courses needed to transition into the world.

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