President Obama Hopes To Lift Impoverished D.C. Children With Free E-Books

The White House is putting into motion a plan to increase educational opportunities for low-income children. During a visit to a public library in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Washington, President Barack Obama talked about the plan, which involves working with publishers and libraries to give low-income children access to 10,000 e-books.

President Obama's plan is part of a broader strategy to tackle inner city problems through educational opportunities for children. It's also a well timed one, with the recent riots and protesting in Baltimore bringing attention to poverty stricken areas and the need to provide opportunities for kids who come from low-income families.

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Jeff Zients, Obama's top economic adviser, points to research showing that 8 out of 10 low-income children read below their grade level and don't have books at home. This is what the plan hopes to address, which entails $250 million in e-book commitments from five different publishers, including Macmillan, Penguin Random House, Simon and Schuster, Hachette Book Group, and HarperCollins.

The White House is essentially taking the "It takes a village" approach, with various entities pitching in to make this program work. In addition to the five major publishers that are on board, the New York Public Library will build an app that allows low-income kids to obtain e-books. However, they'll need access to computers or other electronic devices (tablets, for example) to read the e-books.

Help is coming on the hardware side, as well. This includes previously announced programs by the White House, along with assistance from the private sector, such as Apple donating $100 million devices to low-income schools.