A new international study has come-out once again documenting the huge benefits to children of having books at home. Here’s an excerpt:

“Growing up in a home with 500 books would propel a child 3.2 years further in education, on average, than would growing up in a similar home with few or no books…. In the U.S., the figure is 2.4 years — which is still highly significant when you consider it’s the difference between two years of college and a full four-year degree.

We focus a lot on the importance of a home library in our Family Literacy Project. In addition to providing computers and home internet service, we’ve gotten thousands of great books from the Friends of the Davis (CA) Library to stock home libraries.

This is a major issue with low-income and immigrant families. In my book, Building Parent Engagement In Schools, I share the results of various studies that show the average Hispanic family with limited English-proficient children has about 26 books in their home, which is about one-fifth of the U.S. average.

Providing high quality books to parents and students that they could call their own — and that they could help pick — could be a pretty darn effective parent engagement effort.