Two-thirds of children in lower income communities lack access to books — the single biggest barrier to literacy — resulting in low reading proficiency, a key predictor of a child’s future educational and economic success. To help bridge this gap, KPMG LLP (No. 16 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list), the U.S. audit, tax and advisory firm, will put more than 150,000 new books into the hands of children in cities across the United States — including the donation of its three millionth book through KPMG’s Family for Literacy (KFFL) program — as part of a “Read to Succeed” initiative being conducted in partnership with non-profit social enterprise First Book.
More than 100 KPMG offices throughout the United States will host book distribution events in the coming weeks at schools and community organizations during Read to Succeed, with many taking place on March 2 to coincide with the National Education Association’s Read Across America Day.
KPMG partners and professionals along with spouses, family members, and alumni will volunteer at these events. Large-scale, pop-up book fairs will take place in Washington D.C., St. Louis, New Orleans/Baton Rouge, Detroit, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Charlotte, and Kansas City – with 10,000 new books to be distributed in each location. Other distribution events with 1,000 books also will take place.
“At KPMG, we’re passionate about giving back to the communities where we live and work,” said Lynne Doughtie, KPMG Chairman and CEO. “Our focus on lifelong learning supports literacy, the most powerful building block in developing tomorrow’s leaders.”
Snapshot of KPMG’s commitment to eradicating childhood illiteracy:
- KFFL established in 2008.
- Millions of children reached.
- Over one million dollars raised by KPMG people to purchase new books for children in need.
- Thousands of volunteer hours donated by KPMG people and the extended KPMG family to support the cause.
“We have seen what a strong and positive impact we can have on the lives of children when we harness our collective efforts and resources,” said KPMG Deputy Chairman and Chief Operating Officer P. Scott Ozanus. “Our KPMG family remains committed to bridging the literacy gap in our country.”
“Ninety percent of the educators who have experienced a First Book/KPMG program said these efforts contributed to their students’ improved interest in reading,” said Kyle Zimmer, First Book President and CEO. “We’ve been thrilled to work with KPMG over the last eight years to close the literacy gap for children in low-income communities.”