For kids, reading counts — whether on paper or pixels

January 12, 2012

Exposing children to books an early age, be they printed or digital, is vital to fighting the problem of illiteracy in our city ("Some parents say physical books kindle kids' reading," Jan. 7). At Baltimore Reads, we see just how important reading is every day.

Since the Baltimore Reads' Book Bank was founded 20 years ago, we have distributed more than 1.5 million children's books free of charge. Reaching out to kids with books helps to break the cycle of illiteracy that plagues our city.

The literacy statistics are sobering. Only 68 percent of city residents 25 years and older are high school graduates. Sixteen percent of Baltimoreans lack even the most basic prose literacy skills.

By providing kids with books — printed or digital — we are making an investment in the future of our city.

Shirley Bigley LaMotte, Baltimore

The writer is CEO of Baltimore Reads, Inc.

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