Over the past two weeks, two local schools that were the recipients of KSBY's "If You Give a Child a Book" campaign had their second and final book distributions. The campaign, which started in September, generated $30,000 that was collectively raised through the Scripps Howard Foundation, KSBY employees, and community members. As a result, students at Oceano Elementary School and Arellanes Elementary School received eight to nine brand new books of their very own through a book distribution that was hosted in January of this year and a book fair that was hosted this month.
The second time around gave students the opportunity to choose four to five brand new books of their very own.
Summer break isn't the only thing on the minds of the students at Arellanes and Oceano Elementary Schools. As teachers prepare to send their students to the next grade level, their students are starting an at-home library they can refer to through the upcoming months.
"Oh my gosh, they were so excited," Laura Eledge, a first-grade teacher at Oceano Elementary School said. "A lot of our students don't have the easily accessible books all the time, so having these quality, brand new books with all the interesting things they love, I think it's really going to hopefully get them excited about reading over the summer, get them talking about the books and even want to share it with their siblings."
Shannon Pimentel, the San Luis Obispo County 'Raising a Reader' coordinator, says not only will reading keep students engaged this summer, but it will also prepare them for the upcoming school year.
"Every time you're packing up that summer beach bag to go to the park or to the beach throw in books," Pimentel said. "Every time you tuck your child into bed or you're sitting on the couch, grab those books and take those moments to cuddle up and simply enjoy and have conversations."
While the months of June, July, and August might mean deviating from routine, Pimentel says it's important that students are reading or being read to every day.
"If parents take this opportunity to make sure children have access to books as well as access to their time to cuddle up and explore books together," Pimentel said. "Children will have many opportunities to continue that language and literacy component."