Why 500 Books?

Researchers have reported that having 500 books at home is equivalent to three years’ extra formal education. They concluded that this finding was independent of parents’ education, occupation, ethnicity and social class. This reinforces earlier research that found that by the age of five, children from language-rich family backgrounds will have heard on average 32 million more words than children from language-impoverished backgrounds. Giving children access to 500 key books early in their school careers will effectively put all children, whatever their background, in the language-rich category, with the benefits to vocabulary, creativity and imagination that this brings.