Gift of Reading program still needs 15,000 more books to reach its goal to donate a book to every DPS student in grades PreK-3

The Student Council of Silver Springs Elementary School in Northville on Tuesday sorted, packed and hand-delivered hundreds of books to DPS’ Roberto Clemente Elementary School as part of a school-wide book drive to benefit the Detroit Free Press’ Gift of Reading program.

The Student Council , made up of 18 third, fourth and fifth graders, took a field trip to the Detroit Free Press Building in Detroit to sort the books and packed boxes before bringing them to Roberto Clemente.

After distributing the books, the Student Council read to the Roberto Clemente kindergartners.

The Northville students collected 375 books for the Gift of Reading program, which this year seeks to donate 25,000 books to Detroit Public Schools. The donation will mean a new book for every student in grades Pre-K to third grade and will be the largest Gift of Reading donation to date. The program builds on the Free Press’ call to action for citizens to volunteer as tutors as part of the district’s Volunteer Reading Corps.

To meet its goal, the Gift of Reading program still needs 15,000 additional books. Monetary donations to purchase books are also welcome.
Readers can donate to the Gift of Reading program in three ways:
– Tax-deductible monetary donations can be made online at www.freep.com/reading, or by check payable to Gift of Reading, P.O. Box 640703, Detroit, MI 48264-0703.
– New books can be donated at one of the drop-off locations listed at www.freep.com/reading through December, and at all metro Detroit Borders bookstores from November 2-14.
– By using the Borders Benefits day voucher, printable at www.freep.com/reading, 10% of your in-store purchases made from November 8-14 will benefit Gift of Reading.

With help from Operation: Kid Equip, the Beyond Basics literacy tutoring program, Richmond Rotary Club, Borders Books, UHY LLP and Detroit Free Press readers, The Gift of Reading Program hopes to make a bigger difference than ever this year with this year’s drive for 25,000 books.

Since the creation of Gift of Reading in 1987, the Detroit Free Press has distributed more than 700,000 books to needy, at-risk Michigan children. The Free Press provides these books to children during the holidays through Head Start programs, homeless shelters, clinics and agencies serving Braille-reading youngsters. Gift of Reading also supports school libraries in desperate need of resources throughout the year.

“We know that children who are exposed to books and reading at an early age are more likely to be successful in school and in life,” said Deb Scola, vice president of Detroit Free Press Charities. “And children who can’t read at grade level by the third grade have a higher risk of struggling to stay in school, to find and hold jobs, to help their own children become successful.”

“All children can succeed, given the right tools – this is such an exciting program and we’re proud to play a part,” said Free Press Editor and Publisher Paul Anger.

DPS’ Volunteer Reading Corps initiative was launched after results on the National Assessment of Educational Progress showed Detroit children ranking the lowest in the nation on the math test.
Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb initially called on citizens to volunteer 100,000 hours collectively to tutor reading in DPS schools and help a child learn to read. Bobb then upped the ante, calling on people to give a half-million hours over five years. More than 3,000 people were trained at a rally Jan. 23 at Renaissance High School.

More than 5,700 people have volunteered to date from more than 130 municipalities, pledging more than 680,000 hours annually or more than 3.4 million hours over 5 years. More than 2,500 people have been assigned to schools.

For more information on how you can join the effort, please contact Deb Scola at 313-222-6895 or dscola@dnps.com.

Reading Corps:

To volunteer with the Volunteer Reading Corps, email readingcorps@detroitk12.org. For more information, go to www.detroitk12.org/readingcorps

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