Three organizations team up to share the joy of reading

Students at Pugh Elementary School celebrated the joy of reading on May 18 with representatives from Books Between Kids, members of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s Trailblazers Committee, and the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation.

“Not only are the students provided with books, but they get to choose the books they want to read,” said Pugh Principal Dario Villota. “The number one step to promote literacy is that students want to do it, and this program does that.”

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Books Between Kids gave out the books to the children with the support of the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation and the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. Each student chose up to six books to take home to build their own at-home libraries.

“A national study found that middle-income households have an average of 13 books for every child,” said Sandra Ahlhorn, co-founder of Books Between Kids. “In low-income neighborhoods, however, the average is one book for every 300 children.”

Owning their own books makes a difference in children’s long-term educational prospects, and it makes a difference in the short term as well. Allowing children to select their own titles makes it more likely that children will read independently for pleasure, and enjoying books over the summer will help prevent the “summer slide,” the loss of literacy skills that often takes place between the spring and fall semesters.

With more books at home, young scholars will be able to share their love of reading with their younger siblings.