JOINing to ensure a child's ability to read

Reading, comprehension and writing skills are the antidote to disinterest and delinquency, particularly among immigrant youth. The Israel Literacy Initiative gives kids a running chance by establishing active school libraries in schools with high immigrant enrollment.

Reading is demonstrably the most powerful way to boost academic achievement. Working within schools, JOIN-Literacy builds on school infrastructures to augment the entire educational experience. 

What We're Up Against

It's true, Israel leads the world in start-ups per capita and has been wildly successful in science, technology, medicine, and bio-tech research and development. Yet according to recent studies, Israeli grade-school students lag far behind their counterparts in the West, the Far East and even Eastern Europe, with international test scores hovering in the bottom percentiles.

For Israel as a whole, this spells social disaster. "By creating the largest education gaps in the Western world, [Israel is] sowing the seeds today of high income gaps tomorrow," says Professor Dan Ben-David, executive director of the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel, which conducts the annual studies.

For immigrant children struggling to master both Hebrew and English as second and third languages, the toll will be even greater. Weak language proficiency is a strong risk factor for dropping out of school and delinquency, while reading is a powerful predictor of academic success. Without an emphasis on reading and quality school libraries, these children will fall even further behind.


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