If you have been losing faith in the generosity of humanity, here is some news that may give you hope -- In honor of the blu-ray and DVD release of the Goosebumps movie, Sony Pictures and Scholastic have partnered together to give 20,000 books to children in underserved communities. The books will feature an array of the original Goosebumps tales by R.L. Stine, of course, and will be donated through the Scholastic Possible Fund and distributed by Save the Children.
Today, there are more than 400 million(!) Goosebump books in print. The chilling tales are as popular as ever, and kids today still love the grisly stories involving monsters, ventriloquists, and the occasional ghost. However, for many children growing up in impoverished homes or communities affected by natural disasters, they don’t have access to these books (or any books, for that matter). Early reading is not only a huge part of developing a child’s critical thinking skills, it also helps to bring families together. With this donation, hopefully more families will get to enjoy reading.
As a teacher who has primarily taught in underserved communities, I applaud Sony and Scholastic for their wonderful gift. I teach at a school that doesn’t even have a library, which makes it difficult for many of my students to get to read books on their own. Many students lack the proper educational resources that other communities have an abundance of, which creates huge inequalities -- a student with access to a computer and a library has a better chance of scoring well on a standardized test versus those who do not. Even though I teach at one of the top performing schools in Los Angeles, my students would still like access to the same educational resources as others have, and their siblings would as well. As a community, we need to put more of an emphasis on the importance of reading and education, and encourage others to share the gift of reading as well!