3-Minute Interview: Judy Koch

The founder of the Bay Area-based Bring Me a Book organization provides parents with books to read to their children.

What does your organization do? We offer a book-bag library, preassembled book bags with culturally, age-appropriate books parents and adults take home to children, and that's why we called it Bring Me a Book. The most important thing we offer is our first teachers training, which is a very interactive training program for parents to help educate them about early child brain development.

Why did you start Bring Me a Book? I really started the foundation on a basic intuitive gut feeling that fair is fair. If I can read to my children at the end of the day, all people should be able to read to their children.

What made you decide to tackle childhood literacy? I think it is much more cost effective to prepare children instead of repairing. If we start early, we will not have to do the remedial tutorial training in school, which is very expensive. If they enter kindergarten without ever being read to, it's really difficult to catch up.

What sort of behaviors are linked to teens and adults who could not read as kids? Most of the children in juvenile hall or young adults in prison, dropout rates in high school, all relate to illiteracy. Reading is just the key to every subject in school.

How are you funded? I do fund the overhead expenses so the family, corporate and business donations go directly to our programs.

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