First Book helps Neff ES students start personal libraries

Students at Neff Elementary got a special surprise on Tuesday. First Book donated more than 5,000 books for students to take home and start their personal library.

“If they don’t become better readers during the summer, they will start back at a negative situation because they will have lost the ability, the concentration, the confidence that they are good readers,” said Sheila Long Armstrong, greater Houston chair of First Book, which teams up with the Disney/ABC Television Group and its owned-and-operated Houston TV station, ABC-13 (KTRK), for the program.

Each student received three to seven books and pledged to take care of them.

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“We know that promoting literacy is not just telling kids to read and making sure they’re reading in the classroom, but also making sure we’re providing books in their hands,” Principal Rupak Gandhi said. “Reading is not just something that can be taught but a passion for reading that you have to develop over time. We’re hoping that along with the Literacy By 3 initiative, with the books that the kids will have the opportunity to read in the classroom they can supplement their reading at home with their own personal library.”

Students couldn’t have been happier about the surprise.

“I really want to get a head start next year so that’s why I really want to read for the summer,” fourth-grader Jennifer Ton said.

“I think it’s good to read during the summer because you have a lot more free time and you can enjoy your books more,” fourth-grader Leticea Hernandez said.