Page Ahead donates 15,000 books to Federal Way students

Book Up Summer reading program provides students with 12 books to promote child literacy and bridge achievement gaps.

Although schools are out for the summer, learning doesn’t stop for Federal Way students.

Kindergartners, first graders and second graders in Federal Way schools are receiving 12 books each for free from Page Ahead Children’s Literacy Program, a nonprofit that works to close the literacy achievement gap for young readers in majority low-income communities.

More than 15,000 books were donated to about 1,200 students at Lake Grove, Mark Twain, Mirror Lake, Valhalla, and Wildwood elementary schools in Federal Way, according to a recent Page Ahead news release.

Having more books at home helps combat the “summer learning loss” that low-income kids are likely to experience, the release states.

“Summer vacations create a ‘reading gap’ of about three months between middle- and low-income students, in part because low-income students are less likely to have access to books when not in school,” it states.

The school closures due to are making things even worse.

Researchers fear the average student may fall behind academically by seven months, with Hispanic children losing nine months and Black children losing 10 months, Page Ahead states.

Page Ahead’s summer reading program, which gives kids 12 books each, usually happens at school book fairs.

Due to social distancing guidelines, Page Ahead adapted their flagship program Book Up Summer to be delivered remotely.

From Seattle to Spokane, students and families browsed titles in custom-made printed and online catalogs and shared their chosen books with their teachers.

Page Ahead coordinated the ordering, shipping, and delivery of 156,000 books to 17 districts across the state, the release states.

“Thanks to the hard work of Page Ahead staff and volunteers and school employees, 13,000 young readers have new home libraries to keep their reading skills up, better preparing them for whatever the next school year will bring,” it states.

For more information, visit pageahead.org


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