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23ABC donates hundreds of books to Williams Elementary

23ABC employees donate thousands of books to kids
Posted at 7:32 AM, Jan 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-24 14:29:50-05

What happens when you give a child a book? You give them a world of opportunity.

And that's something very important to us here at 23ABC and our partner the Kern Literacy Council. For the second year we chose a deserving school to receive hundreds of Clifford the Big Red Dog books, because many of these children don't have personal books at home.

"Well we know that children living in poverty hear 30-million fewer words by the age of three than children who live in middle class homes," said Lee Rose, the Director of Community Giving for the Scripps Howard Foundation. "And it's a travesty because if children aren't hearing words and they're not learning how to communicate before they learn to read, they're not set up for success. And so our hope is that by giving children books, that we're helping them learn to read, develop those skills that are going to set them on a trajectory for success."

Williams Elementary is packed with passionate students who are eager to learn and already find the joy in reading.

"I think it's so great because I get to learn new longer words and I get to read a lot of new exciting books," said student Cristian Vielma.

"You can just feel like you are in the book,"added student Serenity Coon.

And that's why we do what we do.

"Seeing the generosity of our coworkers across the country, particularly here at 23ABC, is just overwhelming," Rose said. "In the two years that we've done this, this is our second annual campaign and giveaway day, we have given away over 100,000 books to children who may not otherwise have books. And it's really emotional because you see the joy in their faces and you think wow this could really make a difference in their lives, and learning to read now is going to set them up for so much success in the future."

And we're not done yet! We still have thousands of books that will be distributed around Kern County for the rest of the year, making sure that we are giving back to as many children as possible in our community.

"Giving them a good future!" added student Andy Morales.

"My favorite part about yesterday was seeing the joy on the kids faces when they received their books and seeing all the hands go up when we talked about loving reading," said Laura Wolfe, the Executive Director of the Kern Literacy Council. "Although it seems like a small thing, having books of their own at home is proven to improve school success.

We still have 2,000 books that the Kern Literacy Council will use for their Family Literacy Program, which encourages parents to read to their children and grow their home libraries. And our book donations will also support the Books In Motion program this summer which partners with the Kern County Library and Kern Dance Alliance to teach kids the love of reading, dance and art!