Giving Children Access to Books and Food Over Summer Break

Marsing, ID – Children can’t learn if they are hungry. Couple it with the fact that many children in Idaho do not have access to resources, such as books, in their home to help them learn. To take it a step further, these issues are even more challenging during the summer months.

Food insecurity and summer learning loss are two critical challenges we face in our communities. In Idaho, one out of every five children are food insecure. In addition, research shows that in many of our communities, there are no books available at children´s homes. With no access to books, children can lose up to three months of what they achieved during the school year.

But, this summer is different in one Idaho community. Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children (Idaho AEYC) is partnering with the Marsing School District to provide new books to children attending the Marsing School District Summer Meal Program. Twice a week when children get their lunch, they will also receive a couple of age-appropriate books they can take home and keep.

  • Monday, July 11, Idaho AEYC´s Executive Director Beth Oppenheimer will be at the Marsing City Park to engage with the community and share how important reading is to prepare children for school and prevent summer learning loss.
  • JOIN US! July 11, from 11:45am-12:15pm at Marsing City Park on the corner of 2nd Ave. West and 2nd St. North, Marsing, ID.
  • READ Up is offered on Monday and Friday at two locations: Marsing Housing Authority from 11-11:30am and at Marsing City Park from 11:45am-12:15pm.

The free books are part of Idaho AEYC´s READ Up program, an initiative of The Children´s Reading Foundation brought to Idaho through a grant that is reaching 18 school districts throughout the state. Over 15,000 books, including dozens of bilingual titles, will be distributed this summer through partnerships with summer meal programs, libraries, health services agencies, Head Start programs and others. For the complete schedule, see the READ Up Calendar

According to the 2014 Census, in Marsing, Idaho more than 25% of the population under 18 years of age lives in poverty and data from the State Department of Education shows that over 50% of the children enter school without the basic literacy skills for a successful first year of school.

The nonprofit Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children (Idaho AEYC) is dedicated to advancing Idaho's early learning profession and advocating for children and families. The organization was founded in 1986 and is headquartered in Boise, Idaho. Learn more at