Fletcher students free books

Fletcher Elementary School students Donovan Austin, grade 5; Claire Austin, grade 3; George Austin, grade 2 and Rosa Austin, preschool, explore some of the free books provided as part of a grant by the Children’s Literacy Foundation to all children in Fletcher.

FLETCHER — Fletcher Elementary School and the Children’s Literacy Foundation will partner to provide all Fletcher children with free books during the month of August.

Founded in 1998, the non-profit Children’s Literacy Foundation, known commonly as CLiF, aims to inspire a love of reading and writing among children up to age 12 in Vermont and New Hampshire. The group has served more than 250,000 low-income, at-risk, and rural children in 420 towns across the Twin States. During the past 21 years, the group has distributed more than seven million dollars in new books.

Fletcher Elementary successfully applied for a CLiF grant in order to provide high-quality children’s books to every child in town during the summer. The grant of books includes all Fletcher Elementary students as well as younger children not yet enrolled in the school. The goal of the program is simple, to inspire children to fall in love with books and reading.

In addition to free books, the collaboration between CLiF and the school includes virtual weekly storytelling events by professional storytellers. The sessions are differentiated for younger elementary, elementary and middle school children.

“Our school recognizes that many families are experiencing financially challenging times right now,” second and third grade teacher Kathleen Pellegrino said. “By putting great new books directly into the hands of children, we not only take some of the pressure off families to buy reading material but we also build our student’s enthusiasm for books and great stories. It’s a win-win. It will help maintain learning momentum over the summer and prepare students for the literacy work they will complete in school this fall.”

Researchers at CLiF note that 61 percent of low-income families have no books at home.

The books will automatically be distributed to students registered at Fletcher Elementary School. Families with Fletcher resident children birth to age 6 who are not enrolled in school are invited to call the school to arrange receipt of books in August. Contact Sharon Tinker, Administrative assistant, at 802-849-6251 or stinker@fwsu.org.

For more information on the Children’s Literacy Foundation, visit www.clifonline.org.

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