Rotary Club of Beverly Hills Funds
Home Libraries for Families in Need

A $3,500 grant from Rotary Club of Beverly Hills brings the joy of reading to low income families living within Hope Street’s service area of downtown and south Los Angeles. 

Books can seem an unattainable luxury for many residents in Hope Street’s service area where 29% of households are living on less than $15,000 per year and 45% earn less than $25,000 per year.  To address this “book desert,” in 2015 Hope Street began distributing one book a month to families with children ages 0-5 who are enrolled in one of our early childhood development programs.  To date, approximately 3,000 books have been distributed to 320 families. With the help of the Rotary Club of Beverly Hills, we are excited to expand the reach to more families who can benefit from this program’s significant impact. 

Hope Street Fund Development Committee member, Susan Berk, was instrumental in introducing Hope Street’s Literacy Program to Rotary of Beverly Hills and Hope Street was grateful to have the opportunity to thank the club for their support at their April 9th monthly meeting.

Commenting on the program’s success, Hope Street’s Director, Vickie Kropenske stated,  “We’ve seen steady increases in the program’s effectiveness with 82% of parents reporting they read every day or more than once per day with their child while 65% of parents tell us they have more than 26 books in their home.” Vickie added that 100% of Hope Street’s preschool children ages 4-5 transitioning into kindergarten have achieved the target preschool readiness mastery levels established for language and literacy, cognition, social-emotional development, English language, math and motor skills.

Books also allow parents to be their child’s first teachers. Hope Street’s home visitors, aware of this important dynamic, spend time reviewing literacy engagement strategies that give parents the confidence to read with their child. The home library program establishes an early foundation for their child’s academic success.