Our Crazy Summer Reading Program Was A Go!

Today’s Guest Blogger is Amy Bartilotti, the Communities in Schools Site Coordinator at Bellwood Elementary School in Chesterfield, VA.

Summer is particularly difficult for kids from low-income families. With few books at home and limited access to libraries, they often fall behind.

Last year, my colleagues and I decided to dream big, ignore budgets and create a summer reading program to help our at-risk readers. No more than an hour after we had made our final plans, we got an email from First Book.

Oh my goodness! We were getting hundreds of brand-new books! Our crazy reading program was a GO!

Thanks to First Book, our students were able to pick out new books that were mailed to them every two weeks. They came with a letter of encouragement from their teacher.

The results were phenomenal! Instead of falling behind, 95 percent of our readers maintained or improved their developmental reading assessment scores.

I cannot begin to tell you how grateful we are. Our little corner of the world is a bit brighter because of First Book.

Please give to First Book to keep kids reading all summer long.

image of a young woman laying in the grass, smiling and reading a book. There is light blue boxes with purple text that say, 'Share Your Favorite Summer Read for Our New Online Album. Take a selfie with your favorite summer read and upload it by July 22 to celebrate our First Book family and the work we’re doing together! Send your selfie.'