In an effort to develop lifelong learners through literacy and education the Orlando Magic, Magic player Glen Davis and Magic Community Ambassador Bo Outlaw built a “Healthy Minds Reading Corner” at Mt. Sinai Child Development Center on Wednesday, November 14. The reading corner received new furniture, Magic items and books donated by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. The corner is part of the Magic and Florida Blue Baskets for Books program.
For the third season, the Magic and Florida Blue have teamed up to develop lifelong learners through the Baskets for Books program. For every point made by the Orlando Magic at every home game one book is donated to the Early Learning Coalition of Orange County. To date, 12,688 books have been donated to the Early Learning Coalition.
The Baskets for Books program provides a way to continue the team’s literacy efforts, one of the Magic’s three focus areas. Based on the need in this area, literacy remains a point of emphasis for the Magic (research below provided by the U.S. Department of Education during the most recent fiscal year).
· 80% of the preschool and after-school programs serving at-risk children do not have access to books.
· 61% of low-income families have no children’s books in their homes.
· By age four, children who live in low-income homes will have heard 32 million fewer words than children who read on a daily basis and have access to books in their home.
· Every school day in America 7,000 students drop out.
· Each year almost 1/3 of public high school students fail to graduate high school.
· It is estimated that more than 12 million students will dropout this next decade. This result will cost our nation $3 trillion.