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"If you give a child a book..." campaign highlights the joy of reading

Posted at 7:01 PM, Sep 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-08 14:09:18-04

GREAT FALLS — Studies show that the ability to read not only enriches lives, but also can help lift children out of poverty. That's why KRTV and the Scripps-Howard Foundation are committed to increasing literacy for children in need.

During the month of September, we are asking the community to donate to our second annual “If You Give A Child A Book…” campaign.

This year, we’re raising money to buy books for Sunnyside Elementary School in Great Falls, a Title 1 school, where more than half of the student body lives in low-income households with little or no regular access to books.

The money raised this year will be used to purchase books for students at Sunnyside to take home with them. Educators see this as an invaluable tool to foster lifelong learning and success.

“They have something to read at home. They have something that they can read to their parents. They can read these books to their younger siblings,” said Sunnyside librarian Kath Allen.” If it's a book they really liked, they'll read it over and over and over again, and the more they develop their reading skills, the better readers they'll be and the more successful they'll be in school all the way up through high school.”

A child who can’t read at grade level by third grade is four times less likely to graduate from high school. This same child is 13 times less likely to graduate if they live in poverty.

“Some of our kiddos go home and they're taking care of little sister or little brother, and maybe they don't know what they're doing is really solidifying what they have been learning at school by reading to their little sibling at home,” said Sunnyside third grade teacher Megan Schaak. “But it is. And the more that we can support that, the more success that we're going to see in the classroom.”

KRTV and the Scripps Howard Foundation believe that if you give a child a book, you give a child a chance. Every $5 donation pays for a book that a student will get to take home, keep, and call their very own.

If you would like to make a donation, you can visit right now, or you can text KRTV to 345345.

Last year's campaign benefited West Elementary School, and with generous donations from the community and a matching gift from the Scripps Howard Foundation, raised more than $11,000 toward the purchase of five books per student at West.