The National Book Foundation’s Innovations in Reading Prize is awarded every year to an individual or organization that has encouraged a lifelong love of reading. This year’s award goes to DIBS for Kids, a Nebraska-based literacy nonprofit that’s dedicated to to making books accessible. DIBS (Delivering Infinite Book Shelves) for Kids, founded by a former first-grade teacher, sees the value of in-home reading opportunities and is devoted to making this possible for students at the 46 elementary schools in the Omaha Public School District that have a poverty rate of over 70%.
Lisa Lucas, the Executive Director of the National Book Foundation said, “DIBS for Kids’ creative technological approach to meeting young people where they are and ensuring access to physical books for home use helps to remind how important it is that reading is not seen as a separate, siloed school activity, but also as a meaningful, joyful part of our everyday lives.”
Of the $10,000 win, DIBS for Kids Founder and Executive Director David Orrick said:
“At DIBS for Kids we believe that nightly in-home reading has the unique potential to impact students’ lives, yet 61% of students growing up in poverty don’t have access to a single age appropriate book in their home. While elementary teachers are aware of this problem and often try to piece together their own solutions, DIBS for Kids helps them in a critical way, providing schools with an innovative, student-led software technology that builds student excitement for reading and helps teachers send home over 80 books with each student, every school year.”
Since 2009, the National Book Foundation has been celebrating community-driven work that supports literacy. (One of the past recipients was the Little Free Library, which you might have seen around your neighborhood!) You can read more about DIBS for Kids and all the other innovative, vital organizations that encourage readers here.