Valley Children's Hospital is uniquely positioned to make a difference in the literacy levels in the San Joaquin valley. Studies show that children from lower socio-economic environments start Kindergarten having heard 30,000,000 (30 Million) fewer words than their more affluent peers (http://tinyurl.com/30-million-gap). Fresno County has one of the highest poverty rates in the nation (http://tinyurl.com/fresno-poverty). Fresno County is also one of the least literate areas in America (http://tinyurl.com/Fresno-Literacy). Fresno County’s children need more access to books, in order to drive that 30 million word gap down. We at the Valley Children’s Hospital Literacy Program are attempting to attack the problem head on. It is the aim of the Literacy Program to put a new, age appropriate, book into the hands of every child who comes through the Valley Children’s Healthcare system. It is also our aim to educate parents on the need to sing, talk, and read, to their children at least 20 minutes a day, from birth. Due to infection control issues, the Literacy Program is required to only distribute new books to children. New books are expensive, though. We currently give away about 1500 – 2000 new books a month, covering a wide variety of ages – from board books to young adult books. In the last 12 months we have spent approximately $33,000 on new books. Unfortunately, the highest demand is for board books for infants and toddlers, which is also the most expensive books type of book. The money for our programs comes from donations. This is the first time that we are trying a"Crowd Sourcing" method to obtain funds. We hope you will see the benefit, and donate. I firmly believe there are lots of people in Fresno and the surrounding environment that are deeply interested in making a difference in literacy rates, early childhood education, and Valley Children’s Hospital. Will you step to the plate and help fund our Literacy Program at Valley Children's Hospital?