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School District Distributes Summer Book Packs to 37,000 Elementary School Students City-Wide

Posted on June 13, 2018
Categories: Press Releases

PHILADELPHIA — As the 2017-2018 school year ends, The School District of Philadelphia has distributed free books to approximately 37,000 pre-kindergarten through second grade students across the District in an effort to encourage summer reading.

“Children who read during the summer months keep their skills sharp and will be better prepared when school reopens for all students in kindergarten through 12th grade on August 27, 2018,” said Dr. William R. Hite, Superintendent. “Encouraging children to be lifelong readers will make a huge difference in their success in school.”

Before the end of the 2017-2018 school year, students received 10 free books and book packs customized by Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company.

The effort is part of a larger, ongoing initiative to counteract learning or reading skill loss during the summer months, known as the “summer slide,” by encouraging students to make a “summer leap” in early literacy skills.

According to research, it is estimated that the summer slide accounts for up to 85 percent of the reading achievement gap between lower-income students and their more affluent peers.

“Here at the District, we are laser-focused on early literacy, whether it is through our own efforts to encourage summer reading, the Fund for The School District of Philadelphia’s Right Books Campaign, or the citywide Read by 4th Campaign,” said Hite. “Early literacy is connected to social and emotional development and improved academic success, so it continues to be one of our most important targets.”

For more information about what reading skills children should attain at each grade level, please click here.

Last modified: June 13, 2018