Think back to when you were a child. Where did you like to read? In your room? On a pile of pillows? Under a blanket? In a tree? Odds are, wherever it was, it was cozy, comfortable and quiet.

Unfortunately, far too many children today do not have a special place to read – or even have access to books. In low income neighborhoods, on average there is just one book for every 300 children.* Compare that with 13 books per child in middle-income communities. There’s more: Children raised in lower income households are exposed to an average of 32 million fewer words by age four than their classmates raised in higher income homes.* Research has shown a direct correlation between a child’s vocabulary and success in school. With 21.6% of Illinois children in poverty, with the highest rate among children under age 6, there is significant cause for concern regarding the future of young people in our communities.**

{Creating a Brighter Future}

Thanks to the support of generous donors and the dedication of our members, JLKD was able to create a colorful, welcoming corner filled with plump pillows, plush bean bag chairs, fun and educational literacy games and shelves filled with age-appropriate books for all reading levels at Pioneer Elementary School in West Chicago, where 94 percent of students come from low income households and many learn English as a second language.

{Impacting Tomorrow, Today}

JLKD worked closely with the school’s principal and librarian to create a Nook that would cater to the schools need needs. The members of JLKD, along with support from partners in the community, provided all materials and labor and stocked the Nook with new books and supplies. Now that it’s completed, we will continue to maintain the Nook and offer support to ensure the long-term success of each project.