Here are sources for the statistics on our website:


Approximately 37% of Philadelphians above the age of 16 are “low literate”. 550,000 adults in Philadelphia struggle to complete a basic job application due to low literacy (

Of the 10 most populous cities in the United States, Philadelphia has the highest poverty rate at 25 percent for adults and 38 percent for children. The poverty rate in some neighborhoods of Philadelphia is 44.4%.(;

12.2 percent, which is nearly 185,000 people, including approximately 60,000 children, live in deep poverty in Philadelphia. (

Only two out of five children in higher income families are read to daily (Reach Out and Read, Reading Across the Nation: A Chartbook, 2007)

Children who grow up in homes without books are on average three years behind children in homes with many books academically, even when controlled for other key factors including income and parents’ education.  (M.D.R. Evans et al, “Family scholarly culture and educational success:  Books and schooling in 27 nations”,Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, June 2010)

61% of low-income children in the United States are growing up in homes without books (Reading Literacy in the United States: Findings from the IEA Reading Literacy Study, 1996.).

Middle income households have an average of 13 books per child (Neuman, S., & Dickinson, D. (Eds.). (2006) Handbook of Early Literacy Research (Vol. 2).

Books in the home are the single biggest indicator of academic success — surpassing income, parents’ education, family composition, and all other factors. (Jeff McQuillan, The Literacy Crisis: False Claims, Real Solutions, 1998).