Report On The Bundles Of Books Backpack Program At Para Los Ninos School In Los Angeles, CA

Bundles of Books organized a distribution of backpacks filled with books at the Para Los Ninos School in downtown Los Angeles. The purpose of the distribution was to increase children’s literacy skills through encouraging reading at home. For younger children, this involved increasing the frequency and length of parent/child reading times. For older children, the goal was to encourage a love of reading through providing books to read at home.

Before the backpacks were distributed, parents completed pre-surveys asking about children’s reading practices and patterns. They also participated in a half-hour training on how to read with their children, even if they themselves were illiterate. Six months later these same parents completed post surveys. The following are the results of the pre/post surveys:

  1. Thirty-five percent of the homes had fewer than 10 children’s books before the backpack distribution; this dropped to 19% on the post survey.
  2. The percentage of parents happy or very happy with how their child studied increased from 85% to 92%.
  3. The number of parents reading to their child four to five times a week rose from 32% on the pre-survey to 40% on the post-survey.
  4. On the pre-survey, only 2% of the parents thought their child enjoyed reading very much. By the post survey, this increased to 49%.
  5. Library use increased, with the percentage of children checking out books sometimes or often rising from 72% to 83%.

The greatest change was the sizable increase in the number of parents who perceived their child as enjoying reading very much.

Report On The 2011 Bundles Of Books Backpack Program In El Zaite, El Salvador

In April 2011, Bundles of Books shipped more than 1000 books, learning materials and school supplies to the El Zaite Children’s Center outside San Salvador. The Center had been chosen because of the poverty of its community, the longevity of the program, the qualifications of the teachers and the willingness of staff to work with Bundles of Books. The Center operates both a daily preschool/kindergarten for 42 children age six and under and an afterschool tutoring program for older students. Both groups received backpacks loaded with age appropriate books. The shipment also included a Spanish language encyclopedia and other reference materials for the tutoring program and classroom libraries for the younger children. To increase reading skills, the Center developed a literacy program that included plays and cultural events attended by parents and children together. Parents were instructed on how to read with their children and they received a written manual to guide them.

In 2010, a survey of 34 parents indicated that they had low levels of education, with a third either never attending school or only completing first grade. Another third had gone as far as third grade. Overall, two-thirds of the parents had a third grade education or less. Eighteen percent had trouble reading and 17% had no books at home. Twenty-seven percent of the parents either never or very infrequently read to their children.

Below are the results of a pre/post assessment of the Children’s Center children/parents:

Older students

  • Access to books increased dramatically. Before the program 74% had fewer than 10 books at home. Afterwards, only 50% had fewer than 10 books. The percentage of students with 10 to 30 books rose from 20% to 36%.
  • Reading increased. The number who read a non-required book at least four times during the week increased from 26% to 39%.


  • Parents and children read together more often. Average frequency increased from 3.1 times per week to 3.7 times per week.
  • Children had more books at home. The percentage of families with fewer than 10 children’s books at home fell from 80% on the pre-survey to 32% on the post-survey.
  • More parents thought their child enjoyed reading; the percentage increased from 76% to 92%.

These findings are a testament to the need and benefits of the Bundles of Books programs. Bundles of Books will continue its efforts to “Lift Young Minds. One Books at a Time.”