Poor literacy rates impact the economy and the workforce which directly impacts local businesses. With many parents struggling to make ends meet, some simply do not have the time it takes to build reading skills at home. Each of us can use our skills and resources to help change the future of Georgia’s children. Here are some ways local businesses can help improve literacy in Troup County.

Start an Incentive Program

Business owners have a unique opportunity to encourage reading in the community by offering incentive programs for the children of their employees and customers. Offer rewards for children who read a certain number of books during the summer break, or for the parents of those children. Have a monthly “movie night” and show a movie that’s based on a book that all attendees must read first. Even small rewards or incentives can help a family prioritize reading!

Add a Bookshelf or Lending Library to your Business

Some families just don’t have the means to buy new books and some parents are at work during the library’s open hours. Having a little free library at your office may allow an overworked parent to come home with a new book for their children to read, or allow a child to choose books that interest them while their parents conduct business with you. Small offerings such as these are a boost to your business as well as the local community!

Donate Books or Money to Local and School Libraries

With many families relying on local libraries to provide their children’s reading material, it’s imperative that these libraries are well-stocked. Children need access to many types of books to build their own interests and maintain their desire to read. Libraries are often underfunded and are unable to offer everything they’d like to offer. Ask your local librarian what the library needs. Buy copies of your favorite children’s books and donate them to the library. A small investment on your part may make the difference in a local child’s enthusiasm for reading!