GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Through a partnership with the charitable arm of our parent company – the Scripps Howard Foundation – and Scholastic Book Fairs, FOX 17 raised and gave away over 2,400 books to first- and second-graders in the Grand Rapids Public School System. They were dropped off on Friday.
Now in its fourth year, the ‘Give a Child a Book’ campaign raised 165,000 books in 2020 alone, all collected by Scripps stations across the country.
“I love that it brings books into the lives of young people and young children,” said Dr. Leadriane Roby, superintendent at GRPS. “We’re investing in our young people to say literacy is important and that we want to encourage and invite our young people to fall in love with reading.”
Students who aren’t proficient readers by third grade are four times less likely to graduate high school – that number jumps to 13 times when that student lives in poverty. For kids at GRPS Friday, the book they took home may have been the first or one of the very few they actually own.
“Especially when you’re dealing with a pandemic, access to books is so minimalistic for our kiddos,” said Lynne Lavota, a strategic partnership manager with Scholastic Book Fairs. “Where we’ve had minimal opportunities to get books through classrooms, through schools, even public libraries. "This opportunity of bringing new books into the home is beyond an incredible… it really just shores up that success for that child.”