May 15, 2001
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens) once again showed her strong commitment to reading and early education by re-introducing the Access to Books for Children Act, (ABC). This legislation would provide infants and children participating in the WIC program with vouchers to purchase educational books.

"A child who is not introduced to books and reading at an early age is three times more likely to drop out of school and miss out on receiving a high school diploma," Rep. Maloney said today. "When a young person gains a love for reading, her imagination and brain power skyrocket. Through books, children learn of adventure, history, families, silliness, morality, and courage. And every time a page is turned, a young person personally improves her odds of being a successful, happy student. I am honored to introduce this legislation," Maloney added.

The legislation amends the 1966 Child Nutrition Act to provide vouchers for the purchase of educational books for infants and children participating in the WIC Program. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends daily reading to a child beginning when the child is six months old. The ABC Act will make it easier for women and children on the WIC program to develop literacy skills by placing books into the hands of children who may not otherwise have the means to purchase their own books.

Currently serving in her fifth consecutive term in Congress, Rep. Maloney, continues to be a voice for children. She currently is a member of the Children's Caucus and the Child Care Caucus.