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June 16, 2017

Summer fun with a book....or ten!

Four years ago, Abby Williams, a dedicated and enthusiastic Reading Partners North Texas tutor, delivered a bag of books to each student at her reading center to take home and enjoy over the summer. Our staff saw firsthand how much these students enjoyed this gift of books, and we were compelled to make it a broader local initiative. In an effort to expand the impact of our “Take Reading Home” program during the summer, Reading Partners North Texas provides students with the tools to encourage literacy development over the course of the summer and combat summer learning loss.

In previous years, North Texas has provided new or gently used books and reading supplies to our students with donations primarily from corporate and faith-based partners. However, this school year our summer literacy support has surpassed all previous years. For the first time, the Summer Book Backpacks project became an official fundraising campaign open to partners, tutors, and supporters of the Reading Partners program.

KPMG generously gave a $21,000 grant that allowed for the purchase of over 7,500 books for our students. Additionally, donors enthusiastically raised nearly $11,000 in just two months.

Volunteer reading partners enthusiastically extended their generosity by supporting their students’ summer learning.

I’m so glad to be able to encourage Isabella’s reading this summer!” said volunteer Susan Koehler.

“Working with children through Reading Partners has been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had. I’m grateful for the opportunity to help these kids progress in their reading skills. It is a real joy to see their enthusiasm and determination to become better readers,” said Sally Perryman.

The hard work, dedication, and support from our partners, tutors, donors, and staff ensured that each student received 10 books for their summer backpack, more than half of them brand new books. Along with reading supplies and a worksheet, the goal is to reinforce the love for reading at home. As an added bonus, when students submit their summer reading worksheet, they will receive a prize for staying on course with their reading level.

A love for reading can take students a long way, and we know that doesn’t have to be lost over the summer.

“This is my second year as a Reading Partner volunteer. I think this program is so important and a tremendous benefit to the kids. I want to help by encouraging them to read this summer,” said Jean McAlpine.

If you would like to support summer reading this summer, please visit our Summer Book backpack website today.

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