Rep. Maloney Reintroduces Bill to Make Buying Books for Kids as Easy as A-B-C

Jun 3, 2008
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC - Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), a lifelong advocate for reading and early education, today reintroduced the Access to Books for Children Act, or ABC Act (H.R. 6175).  Maloney’s legislation would provide low-income infants and children participating in The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) with vouchers to purchase educational books.

“With the ABC Act, we have an opportunity to nourish both the bodies and minds of children participating in the WIC program,” said Rep. Maloney.  “Exposing children to the joys of reading at an early age is one of the best ways to inspire life-long learning.  The ABC Act will help ensure that children from all walks of life are given a chance to develop the reading skills that will set them on the path to success.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends daily reading to a child beginning when the child is six months old.  Studies show that a child who is introduced to books and reading at an early age is three times less likely to drop out of school.

The ABC Act would amend the 1966 Child Nutrition Act to provide educational book vouchers to parents participating in the WIC program.  WIC provides nutritious foods, nutrition education, and referrals to health and other social services to low-income pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, and infants and children up to age five.