EAST ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – A 6-year-old girl in East St. Louis is helping fellow students learn to read.

Zoe Howlett, with the help of her mom, founded a virtual book club to encourage kids to read for 20 minutes a day.

Since Memorial Day Weekend, Zoe has been selling lemonade outside of her home. Now, she is using some of that money to buy books. Tiara, Zoe’s mother, told News 4 she got the idea after learning just how important reading is to a child’s success.

“I felt like a lot of the kids in the inner-city area were not reading,” Tiara said.

According to the Department of Education, students who cannot read at grade level by the end of third grade are four times more likely to drop out of a high school.

Tiara graduated from Columbia University in March and was gifted a $2,500 grant to fund an initiative in her community. With the help of Zoe, the idea for a virtual book club quickly formed.

When the book club officially begins in September, 10 first graders will be tasked with reading for 20 minutes a day for the next four years. By the time they hit fourth grade, they will have read 1,825 books.

With East St. Louis schools beginning virtually, Zoe’s reading initiative will help ensure she and other students don’t fall behind.

Kids who participate in the book club will receive a financial incentive. If you're interested in joining, you can contact Tiara Moore at 1825booksestl@gmail.com 

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