Last year was the first year for a book giveaway at Katherine Smith Elementary and according to reading specialist Jessica Sealfon, it was a huge success.
“The scholars get them before the holidays and in January you see them with their books,” said Sealfon. “They are carrying them around for the rest of the year.”
This year, the school also looks to gather books for every scholar in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. The school refers to its students as scholars.
Book fair points from Scholastic have already enabled the school to get books for the pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, first and second graders. Now the school is using additional Scholastic points to get books for the third, fourth and fifth graders. They are also still seeking donations of new or gently used books from the public.
“We could always use books,” said Sealfon. “If we get more, we will send more home.”
Sealfon said that the purpose behind the program is twofold. She says that many of the students don’t have a large number of books at home and it helps to add to their home library, which in turn helps with their reading.
“Also during breaks from school, like summer and holiday break, a child’s reading level is more likely to go down so this keeps them reading over the break,” said Sealfon.
All books will be wrapped by December 14 and given to the students the day before they leave for Christmas break. It is meant to be a surprise for the scholars.
“Either they don’t know or they don’t remember from last year,” said Sealfon. “The books have a message written in them from the teacher. It makes the scholars feel special. They love it.”
If you are interested in donating books, The Leader has a collection box in its lobby. Please bring them by Tuesday, December 12.