New councilmember wants 'Books from Birth' for DC kids

Politicians are known for kissing babies, but it's not often you see a politician reading to children. That's what newly-elected Ward 6 DC Councilman Charles Allen did on Friday.

At Southwest Neighborhood Library, Allen read two books to a group of children gathered there. He also announced plans to introduce the Books from Birth Act of 2015. The idea is to get books in the hands of all D.C. children from the time they are babies.

The books would be mailed to the kids' homes. The program is rooted in research that says kids who are read to by adults right from the start achieve more later.

"The legislation creates a fund such that we're able to have district dollars, which I think need to go into this. I think great cities provide great books for our kids. But it'll also allow for donations to come in, as well as, partner for any sorts of sponsorship activities," says Allen, who is a father himself.

In D.C. there are 41,000 kids under the age of 5. Allen says the plan will cost roughly $30 per child per year.


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