Lack of access to books constrains the literacy development of students in poor communities. There are about 13 books per child in middle-income neighborhoods. In low-income neighborhoods, this ratio has been estimated to be approximately 1 book at home for every 300 children.
Working as a reading specialist and principal in an urban elementary school, BookMentors founder Jen Soalt and board member Pamela Simpkins encountered the reality of these statistics first hand. Jen thought that there had to be a way for readers, writers, publishers, and teachers to connect to help improve students' access to books. She came up with the idea for BookMentors and told some friends who offered to help, and a year later our platform was launched. Now we need others committed to books, reading, and great children's stories to help BookMentors grow.