Educational programs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) — when coupled with literacy, reading, and comprehension skills — are critical to helping our children thrive in our 21st century workforce. Yet we know that many low-income, at-risk, and underserved youth struggle with access to learning resources that can help them gain those skills and attain academic and economic success.
STEM Next and The Molina Foundation, have extensive experience working with early childhood centers, after-school programs and K-12 campuses throughout the nation. We have seen that the strongest STEM educational programs interweave literacy-rich materials with hands-on investigation and experimentation.
But we wanted to look deeper at both the research and the current environment supporting the connections between literacy and STEM, especially in underserved and English language learner populations. We wanted to uncover findings that would help empower practitioners, educators, researchers, and policymakers with the right education tools to ensure our children are on a path for success.
And so, it’s with great pride that we present — together with The Institute for Entrepreneurship in Education, the Caster Family Center for Nonprofit and Philanthropic Research at the University of San Diego and the Hoag Foundation — a report “The Role of Books and Reading in STEM: An Overview of the Benefits for the Children and the Opportunities to Enhance the Field.”