United Way of Central Iowa Women’s Leadership Connection collected over 2,500 books in the first-ever Stuff the Bus event, held May 10-14 to celebrate National Children’s Book Week. A Des Moines Public Schools bus visited several locations throughout the metro, where volunteers collected age-appropriate books to donate to local early learning centers.
The children shown here are local students.
The key to children’s early success is access to age-appropriate books. The most recent data indicates that children in middle-income neighborhoods have a ratio of 13 books to 1 child. In low-income neighborhoods, the ratio is 1 book to 300 children. Over 80 percent of childcare centers serving low-income children lack age-appropriate books, according to the Handbook of Early Literacy Research.
United Way thanks community partners Barnes & Noble, Hy-Vee, UPS, Wells Fargo, The Principal Financial Group, Des Moines Public Schools and the Public Library of Des Moines for their support of Stuff the Bus.