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The Premise

Our researchers conducted an environmental scan of high poverty areas as well as “borderline” neighborhoods to investigate discrepancies in access to books and other literacy materials. To do so, we went street by street and identified all literacy resources available, coded them, and used this information to determine how many books were available per child per neighborhood. In July 2016, we published our study in Urban Education using the term book deserts to describe communities with little access to literacy resources and materials.

Such neighborhoods constitute “book deserts,” which may seriously constrain young children’s opportunities to come to school "ready to learn"