About Us

Put a book in the hands of every child
By The Hand Club saw a desperate need to increase the literacy rates of the children of Chicago. So they launched a program to put a book in the hands of every child: Reading Takes You Far.

Reading Takes You Far

The creative for this program was developed with the children who participate in By the Hand Club. The mission of Reading Takes You Far supports increased literacy rates, improved reading test scores and a greater likelihood of academic success among at-risk children in Chicago Public Schools.

Reading is one of the best predictors of a student’s academic success. Poor readers tend to read less. They lack motivation and confidence in the classroom, which can lead to a devastating and downward spiral in a child’s life. Yet, one-third of fourth graders in Chicago are not reading at grade level and live in neighborhoods with little to no access to books.

But, the children at By The Hand Club were able to escape this fate. They received the gift of literacy thanks to access to books and caring adults who encouraged them to not just read, but to develop a love of reading.

Now they are committed to sharing their passion and skills with other kids. They’re providing access to books, and helping others discover the joy and value of reading. Together with Dwyane Wade of Wade’s World Foundation and the Chicago Public Library, the children of By The Hand Club launched Reading Takes You Far on June 11, 2012, the day Mayor Rahm Emanuel proclaimed as “By The Hand Club For Kids Literacy Day” in the city of Chicago.

On that day, the children launched a Public Service Announcement (PSA) campaign they helped create. The campaign, designed to motivate kids to read, includes ads for television, busses and bus shelters.

Thanks to Dwyane Wade’s support and the “Text To Donate” campaign, new, free books are being provided, giving kids the opportunity to further develop their love of reading! In conjunction with these events, the Chicago Public Library launched its Rahm’s Readers summer reading program with weekly prizes and a grand finale event.

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Learn more about how you can help

With your help, Reading Takes You Far can ensure that every child has access to the books that will take him or her far in school and in life.

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I struggled with reading as a child. But luckily, my sister Tragil, took the time to read with me. I excelled in basketball, but poor high school academics left me ineligible to play my first year at Marquette University. But I studied and earned the grades to play the next year and beyond.

Reading has taken me far and continues to play a big role in my life: reviewing contracts, reading Bible verses on text messages from my mom and reading to my sons.

The better you can read, the faster you can learn
 and the more successful you can be in life. Pick up a book today.

-Dwyane Wade