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Local elementary schools talk about positive impact of 'If You Give a Child a Book' campaign

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Posted at 3:55 AM, Sep 10, 2021

As we enter our last day of the 'If You Give a Child a Book' campaign, we take a look at the local elementary schools gifted books from our previous event.

Young readers tell us, they are blown away by the generosity in the community.

Reading everyday is a goal educators have for all students.

However, the roadblock is getting actual books in their hands.

“You can’t give someone the homework to build a house without giving them the wood. the kids are the same thing. How can we expect them to read better, to have better vocabulary, to present themselves, if they don’t have something to practice with,” said Cesar Ruiz, Library Media Clerk at Arellanes Elementary.

That’s where the 'If You Give a Child a Book' campaign comes in.

Arellanes elementary was one of the local schools that received donations from the previous event.

“The book drive has been a great partnership between KSBY, Scripps, and our school, and it’s meant books for kids," said Ron Smith, Principal at Arellanes Elementary. "It meant we were able to get books in the hands of kids that we wouldn't have been able to do otherwise.”

With all the challenges from the pandemic - these books have had an even bigger impact on children.

“Kids really havent been able to go out to places because of this pandemic, so books in one way they are a way to explore new ways and use our imaginations,” said Geraldine Maldonado, fifth-grader at Arellanes Elementary.

Books were also delivered to students at Oceano Elementary.

“You can see behind me all these new books out on the shelf, it’s been a really great way to welcome them back to the library to say look at all these brand new books that came in when you weren’t even able to visit last year," said Kelci Gonzalez, Library Tech at Oceano Elementary.

For some kids, this was a chance to own their very first brand new book.

”Some of them had a really hard time understanding - this is a gift that you’ve been given and no budget. You get to choose your four books whatever you want.Some students kept saying when do I bring these back. and they couldn't understand, these are yours to keep forever," said Gonzalez.

“It was actually pretty amazing cause I have never expect such a thing to happen to this school,” said Nathan Aguilar, sixth-grader at Oceano Elementary.

Fifth-grader at Oceano Elementary, Calvin Leblanc agrees. “I think it’s really nice because it gives kids more reasons to read and once you donate you can’t really get it back.”

These donations not only give something tangible for our local students - it also restores hope at a time when people need it most.

"Quarantine has made some people feel isolated and alone and not valued anymore. but this re-shows our children, especially in our community, that the community does care about you and they do care about your future,” said Ruiz.

The program has distributed over 500,000 books and generated over 90 million reading minutes since its inception.

To donate, click here. Or text KSBY to 345345. Message and data rates may apply.