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In national reading tests, California fourth-graders ranked second to last; two out of three third-graders cannot read at their grade level. In Los Angeles, the ratio of books to students is five to one (three to one if outdated and damaged books are purged). The national average ratio of books to students is 18 to one. The disparity in reading resources between America's best- and worst-funded schools has contributed to the "rich get richer and the poor get poorer" cycle. Children who need the most help in reading—the poor and immigrants—have the least access to books.

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From Passionaries´┐ŻA little boy with an infectious spirit

“Brandon Keefe never thought staying home with the sniffles could be a positive thing until a cold kept him home one day in 1993. An idea came to this 8-year-old that day that would change his life and turn his cold into a “positive infection” that spread to countless other kids. This story is about the infectious rippling of a good idea, and of the power of a determined child…”