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Pacoima First Graders Receive Free Books to Encourage Summer Reading PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 29 May 2014 01:31

I'Nella Douglas-Scott, Molina Foundation storyteller.

More than 250 first graders at Pacoima Charter School will head out for the summer with an educational parting gift — new book bags filled with new books.

The 4,115 books and 844 book bags were presented to the students on Wednesday, May 28, during an assembly at the school. The materials, for grades Kindergarten through second grade, were provided through donations from The Molina Foundation, Disney Publishing, First Book and Reading is Fundamental, as part of a program to reduce learning loss that occurs during the summer, particularly in low-income homes lacking books and other ongoing learning tools.

This is the first time the Molina Foundation, a nonprofit public organization, has worked with Pacoima Charter School.

“The Molina Foundation believes that our support of Pacoima Charter School will go far to support their mission of fostering high academic achievement,” said Rachel Voorhees, company spokesperson. “Since its inception in 2004, The Molina Foundation has worked with nearly 1,000 organizations like Pacoima Charter School towards this goal.”

Along with the materials, the students were entertained by the foundation’s Master Storyteller I’Nella Douglass- Scott, who involved them in a book reading and “Apple Pie ABC” chant to encourage continued learning.

Children can fall almost three grade equivalents behind their classmates by the end of fifth grade, and researchers believe that this is largely due to differences in learning opportunities during summer months, foundation officials said, adding the cumulative effect over the years can lead to dropping out of high school.

The concern is heightened for students for whom English is a second language.

“The front lines in the fight against illiteracy are in places you wouldn’t expect,” said Martha Bernadett, MD, president of The Molina Foundation. “Children develop learning skills such as reading from their parents. A parent that reads with a child for even five minutes each night will prepare that child for success.”

Last Updated on Thursday, 29 May 2014 04:35

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