Tackling the problem of illiteracy in children, made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic

A pandemic is causing a literacy crisis among our children nationwide and in Houston.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, two-thirds of the nation’s children aren’t reading at their grade level.

RELATED: Learning loss during the pandemic and how to get our students back to reading on grade-level

Krystal Hitt’s three children are able to get access to books at New Hope Housing- a place for those with limited income who have experienced homelessness. It’s been pivotal for her kids.  

My youngest daughter, when she started at the Reading Bus, she was only 3 months old. Now she is 3 and ready for school. The repetition, the socialization, it all helped get my kids ready," said Hitt.

Not all kids have access to books. That trickles down to staggering statistics.

41% of Houston area children do not have the prerequisite skills needed to enter kindergarten ready to learn the skills to read. 63% of Houston’s 3rd graders don’t read at grade level.

Whether it’s poverty or the pandemic, one growing organization in Houston schools helping solve the literacy crisis.

"They just haven’t had those great foundational skills put in place before they ever got to kindergarten," said Jacque Daughtry is the executive director for Literacy Now.

The organization provides critical literacy through programs at local schools and also throughout the community through ways including The Reading Express Mobile Classroom.  

"It is a problem that is solvable, and we are solving it with the children we have the blessing to serve," said Daughtry. "We can make a difference in children’s lives and in the whole family actually because when you change a child’s life you are going to change the trajectory of the family."


There are so many ways you can make a difference, to find out how, click here.