One Book Colorado gives away copies of the same book title to each four year old in the state via public libraries and Denver Preschool Program classrooms.
The program, in its ninth year, stems from the idea that providing young children with access to books promotes early literacy skills and helps families serve as their children’s first teachers. Many agencies make this popular literacy program possible, including the Lt. Governor’s office – Serve Colorado, Colorado State Library, Denver7, Mile High United Way, the Denver Preschool Program, and public and military libraries statewide. Funding is provided by sponsor organizations in the private sector and nonprofit and foundation communities.
Research shows that 4-year-olds who have access to books and adults who read to them will be more likely to be ready to read when they start kindergarten. For low-income families, access to quality books and early literacy efforts are even more important, as research shows that children in low-income families tend to have fewer books in their homes and are exposed to 30 million fewer words before the age of four than their higher-income peers. One Book Colorado aims to help close this vocabulary gap by getting a book into the home of every four-year-old in Colorado and fostering a culture of reading. A child must first learn to read, before he or she can read to learn.
One Book Colorado has distributed the following books:
- 2012: Maybe a Bear Ate It! by Robie Harris, illustrated by Michael Emberely
- 2013: Duck on a Bike by David Shannon
- 2014: Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard
- 2015: How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague
- 2016: Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees
- 2017: Mouse Mess by Linnea Riley
- 2018: Groovy Joe: Dance Party Countdown by Eric Litwin, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
- 2019: Penguinaut! by Marcie Colleen, illustrated by Emma Yarlett