The unique connection between diaper deserts and book deserts you need to know now

By: Penguin Young Readers

Penguin Young Readers is thrilled to join forces with Too Small to Fail, the National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN), and Huggies to launch a Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action to promote children’s early literacy development through diaper banks. Together, we pledged to distribute 100,000 new board books to families in 20 communities across the United States where diapers and other basic needs items are being distributed. As part of our partnership, Too Small to Fail is also providing new “Diaper Time is Talk Time” tips and information to help parents engage in language-rich interactions — like talking, reading, and singing — with their children during every day routines like diaper time.

Everybody deserves a chance to succeed — and that opportunity begins at birth.

Preparing young children for future success means supporting their early literacy and health from the start, which is why this partnership aims to bring critical resources to the most underserved communities nationwide. All of the resources–which are provided through diaper banks in the NDBN’s member network–serve to promote children’s early brain and language development and to address diaper need in the United States, where one in three American families struggle to provide diapers for their baby.

We know that access to books is an important factor in children’s literacy, yet in many of the same low-income areas where diaper need is high, so is the need for books. One study shows that in low-income communities, there is an average of one book per 300 children. This is in stark contrast to middle-income communities, where there are, on average, 13 books in a single home. As a result, there are far too many new families that won’t read some of our favorite books together, such as “The Little Engine That Could” and “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” This partnership will provide these Penguin classics and support recipient diaper banks by providing children’s books to the parents they serve.

On February 2, the Clinton Foundation and Too Small to Fail hosted a Day of Action where Penguin employees, the NDBN, and additional volunteers joined together for a service project to bundle diapers and Penguin board books to distribute to families served by The HopeLine, a social services organization based in the Bronx that provides diapers, food, and classes to local community members.

Everybody deserves a chance to succeed — and that opportunity begins at birth.

Penguin is proud to be a part of this unique and meaningful partnership to meet families where they are and get more quality children’s books into the hands of those who need them most.