Thank you for the thoughtful article “Seattle schools have one of nation’s largest equity gaps, new study says,” News, Oct. 7]. This gap is all too real and carries serious consequences for students from low-income families.
The debate on how to fix our public schools, or whether they need fixing at all, is contentious — and has been going on for decades. In the meantime, students who lack books and other resources are falling behind. These children can’t wait decades for us to decide how to improve public education. They need help now.
Let’s stop the blaming and finger-pointing and start reading the research. Helping students from low-income families succeed in school doesn’t have to be as complicated and expensive as many people think. Giving disadvantaged students their choice of books to read and keep has shown positive results in study after study. Page Ahead Children’s Literacy Program is a local organization that is seeing impressive results — giving new books to children in high-poverty elementary schools to read and keep, in advance of summer break.
Improving our public schools is an important issue, but let’s not let it eclipse the immediate need to help our most vulnerable students. Everyone can give a book to a child.
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Patricia Thayer, Seattle, Page Ahead board member