Back to School Book Drive

Reading proficiency by 3rd grade is the most important predictor of high school graduation and career success. Yet every year, more than 80% of low-income children miss this crucial milestone.

Thank you Valley Federal Credit Union for your support! Bookie Monster bins can be found at any VFCU branch.

As a Head Start program, Explorers Academy focuses on building children’s literacy skills to give them the best shot at success later in life. With only four weeks left to go before school starts, we need your help boosting our books! Support our Back to School Book Drive by donating new or gently used preschool books in two easy ways:

  • Visit our office at 615 N. 19th on Monday-Thursday from 8:00am-4:30pm
  • Feed the Bookie Monster bins at Valley Federal Credit Union branches around Billings

Your books will be offered to families for free to help build a love of a reading at home. Some very special books may even end up in our libraries for all students to enjoy!

The Importance of Reading

Did you know that the most important thing a parent can do with their young child to encourage lifelong success is to read with them at home every day? By supporting our Back to School Book Drive, you are giving families a chance to inspire a love of reading in their child, an opportunity to encourage learning at home, and a way for parents to strengthen their relationship with their kiddo. By exposing a young child to many new words, their vocabulary grows and their foundation for later learning becomes strong.  Don’t underestimate the power of reading!

If you are a parent of a young child, try and carve out some time for reading every day. It can be difficult to fit something like reading a bedtime story into your busy schedule, but the benefits for your child are incredible!

  • Children who live in print-rich environments and who are read to during the first years of life are much more likely to learn to read on schedule.
  • Reading aloud to young children is not only one of the best activities to stimulate language and cognitive skills; it also builds motivation, curiosity, and memory.
  • Early language skills, the foundation for reading ability and school readiness, are based primarily on language exposure – resulting from parents and other adults talking to young children.
  • The nurturing and one-on-one attention from parents during reading aloud encourages children to form a positive association with books and reading later in life.

Research has demonstrated that reading difficulty contributes to school failure, which increases the risk of absenteeism, leaving school, juvenile delinquency, substance abuse, and teenage pregnancy – all of which perpetuates the cycles of poverty and dependency.

Thank you for supporting our Back to School Book Drive! For more information on early childhood literacy, check out the resources below:


And don’t forget to revisit these startling statistics about early childhood literacy: