Check It Out! A Proposed Public Library-Based Meal Program to Combat Literacy Struggles in Children

  •  Renee Pistone    


Purpose: To highlight the relationship between hunger in children and struggles with reading and to propose a library-based social program that is directly incorporated within the local libraries’ already established summer reading program to address it. All local libraries throughout the country have an established summer reading program to provide learning stimulus for students when school closed for summer recess. Design/methodology/approach: The method is to analyze the problem using the lens of an economic theory and he research method is the literature review. The theoretical approach or underpinning is that Arthur Laffer’s, trickle-down economic theory has failed our children who go to bed hungry. Findings: School-aged children who are food insecure suffer academically and the problem is worse during the summer months because there is no access to school meals. The local public library is in a unique position to provide social services in the form of a library-based meal program that is incorporated with the summer reading program. Research limitations/implications: Due to the nature of the study, since there were no participants, the findings are only generalizable to a sample of libraries. Future studies could explore topics related to the actual implementation of a library-based meal program that is tracked over a period of three years.

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