By Emily Ball Cicchini, Executive Director
A recent survey released by the U.S. Census shows that 55% of households with job loss had children in the home. They were more likely to face food insecurity and be unsure of paying their rent or mortgage in June. This means that over half of the adults facing belt-tightening and uncertainty are those with children at home.
This survey, designed to show the real-time impact of the COVID crisis, revealed the troubling reality for those who have lost income during the pandemic. Over 30 million Americans have lost their jobs according to the New York Times (May 12, 2020). While the primary Census continues to do the overall count as it has every 10 years for decades, Pulse Surveys such as this and the American Community Survey updated annually provide important information that allows those in the non-profit community to focus and strengthen their efforts for the best social impact.
In Austin, BookSpring has been working hard to identify and serve these families with the gift of books and motivational materials that can provide positive activities for them to do together that can help release stress and provide a welcome respite from fear and worry. Our BookSpring Delivered program is sending our packages of books into the homes of families more likely to face income loss, and working with our partners to identify and reach out to families with motivational messages and interactive prompts to help them connect through books.
While our strong network of non-profit partners work hard to provide food, shelter, and mental health support for Central Texas families, BookSpring is continuing our mission to enrich and empower the lives of children and families through the power of reading together. You can imagine how difficult it is for parents with children to keep engaged and hopeful with their children. A good book about a topic of interest to the child can go a long way to build resilience and positive bonds between children and adults to help ward off the negative effects of the economic downturn caused by the global health crisis.
We encourage families to pick up a book and read together every day. If you don’t have a book at home, check out Storyweaver and Unite for Literacy for free digital books you can read right now through your computer or mobile device.
Finally, our hearts go out to everyone impacted by this pandemic. We promise to keep our books flowing out as long as we can to help every child in Central Texas through the wonderful world of reading.