By ALLISON MATYUS
Earlier today, the University of Chicago (U. of C.) Charter School Woodlawn campus, 6420 S. University Ave., celebrated the donation of 15,000 free books from Scholastic Book Fairs and My Very Own Library.
The four campuses that make up the U. of C. Charter School were the only schools in the Chicago area to receive books as part of an international initiative offering students in need their own books to encourage literacy outside of the classroom.
In total, 33,000 students across the country will receive approximately 338,000 books from this year’s program, which is about 10 books per student. About 1,500 students from the U. of C. Charter School will benefit from the program.
Findings from a 2014 report titled “Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report” stated that 61 percent of children ages 6 to 17 from low-income households only read for fun during school. This initiative by My Very Own Library and Scholastic Book Fairs provides books for children to read outside of their school.
This morning’s event also brought in award-winning Scholastic authors Derek Anderson, Christina Gonzalez and Alan Gratz.
“At Scholastic we know that the right book can open a world of greater understanding, self-motivation, and joy for students,” said Alan Boyko, the president of Scholastic Book Fairs, in a written statement. “By working with My Very Own Library and their partner organizations, Scholastic is able to reach more children, many who may never have owned their own books, and help them discover the power and joy of reading.”
In addition to the books, the My Very Own Library program will also grant $1,000 to U. of C. Charter School to host three family literacy events.