LANSING, Mich. — Averill New Tech Elementary School in Lansing has received 1,683 books as part of the Scripps Howard Foundation’s If You Give a Child a Book initiative.
This year the Scripps Howard Foundation donated 165,000 books to schools across the country. Over the past five years, the foundation has donated 500,000 books.
Casey Ruschman is the community giving manager with the Scripps Howard Foundation. Her role includes helping Scripps stations, such as FOX 47, partner with local non-profits and distribute books.
“Childhood literacy is a big piece of the Scripps Howard Foundation’s mission to create a better-informed world. And, we know that access to books and learning to read from an early age is proven to be an important predictor of a child’s success through their school years and beyond," Ruschman said. “Children growing up in homes with no books on average are three years behind academically compared to children in homes with lots of books.”
Every dollar raised for the initiative is used to purchase books for children who may not have any in their homes, and books are purchased at a significant discount through a partnership with Scholastic Books. Donations come from Scripps employees, sponsors, as well as viewers of Scripps TV stations across the country.
“It’s pretty exciting. All of our staff were very excited to be able to receive this opportunity for our students,” Averill Principal Paden Stalter said. Teachers have selected and ordered books for each grade pre-K through third, so each student will receive six to eight books.
On a typical year, the school would hold a book fair. This year, however, students and their parents can just drive up to receive their bag of books, among other things.
“We coordinated our book distribution through the Give a Child a Book initiative to overlap with our food distributions, so families could benefit from both programs," Stalter explained.
Melissa Wong has a first grader at Averill, and drove one of the roughly 60 cars that passed through to pick up books and supplies over the past two days. Wong says that this initiative is a very good thing.
“Especially for people who don’t have the supplies at home, or can’t get connected with those supplies. It also helps with Charles – he is in the I.E.P – so, it’s helping him learn things that he’s going to need for when we do come back to school,” Wong said.
If you would like to donate to the Give a Child a Book initiative, you can go to FOX47News.com. All donations from the Lansing area will go toward purchasing books for local children.
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