Books have the opportunity to change young people's lives, and here at KSBY we are trying to do just that with our "If You Give a Child a Book" campaign.
We checked in with two local schools where all students received brand new books, thanks to this campaign, to see how it’s benefiting them
“I just wanted to pick out the right ones.” The excitement of Isaac Rodriguez, 9, is palpable. He’s one of many students at Bonita Elementary who received 5 brand new books as part of the campaign.
And for this third grader - variety is key.
“I’d probably like to read anime books, chapter books, character books, and I don’t know, like regular books too,” said Rodriguez.
The campaign encourages reading early on - an experience many haven’t had before.
Karen Sperling, Bonita Elementary’s Assistant Principal said, “What we see is the excitement kids have when they are getting books, especially new ones that they get to call their own and take home. We all have access in our libraries, our classrooms, the school library. But when they get to take one home, they are just beaming.”
Sperling says getting books into the hands of kids early on sets them up for success.
“What we want to see is lifelong learning, and we know that that comes through reading. We also know that the reading foundations that they receive now, they have to have for anything," said Sperling. "Whether it’s college or career and ultimately that’s what we are working towards is the day they graduate high school. That they get to make a choice and do what they want.”
Arellanes Elementary School has been involved with the campaign going on three years now.
Principal Ron Smith says the kids look forward to it every year and he sees the impact firsthand.
“The campaign has been extremely important. Not only because students get books, but because every time of the year - the stories are a showcase of the importance of early literacy,” said Smith.
Smith goes on to say, “There’s always a buzz of excitement when it comes time for the news books. As a site, we’ve built upon that excitement and we have reading events throughout the week.”
That excitement lighting up even the youngest readers, who find their own way to encourage their peers.
Rodriguez said, “I would say - pick up a book and make sure it’s you. You have to look through the pages to make sure it is you.”
The campaign ends Friday, September 9. You can find out more and donate here.