Scripps Howard Foundation, Scripps Media Tucson promote literacy by giving the gift of reading

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A big surprise for a Tucson organization that is dedicated to making sure all children in our community have access to books. 

The Scripps Howard Foundation gave Make Way For Books a special $10,000 grant as part of National Reading Day which celebrates and encourages reading.

Two-thirds of kids in poverty are not able to read simply because they don't have the books.

"Ten-thousand dollars actually translates to more than 40,000 books," said Jenny Volpe with Make Way For Books.

That gives 40,000 chances for a child to become a better reader. 

E.W. Scripps Tucson was proud to share the gift of reading by providing thousands of new books to children in southern Arizona.

Local employees, friends, and family donated thousands of dollars to the cause during the If You Give A Child A Book campaign.

In Tucson alone, the money raised equaled 900 books.

Make Way For Books received 450 books. Another 450 books were donated to Literacy Connects, a local organization that encourages reading and gives books to children and adults.

"It's a fabulous addition to all of the books we will give away this year. We aim to give away between 42 to 43,000 books every year that's just in our reading seed program. This will go directly to children to build their home libraries," said Betty Stauffer with Literacy Connects.

Did you know that almost 84% of preschoolers in Pima County are at risk for not being ready for Kindergarten? Only 40 percent of 3rd graders in our county are proficient in reading and writing. 

In Arizona, 530,000 adults read no better than an average 5th grader.

"Getting kids to love books, that's really our goal, getting kids to love books because it almost guarantees they're going to be successful at school," said Stauffer.

Both Literacy Connects and Make Way For Books are always looking for volunteers and donations of gently used books.

 

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