Each student got to take home two books each thanks to the Scripps Howard Foundation's "If You Give a Book" Campaign. WMAR-2 News raised nearly $10,000 through this campaign, donating 3,895 books to two Baltimore City schools in the Cherry Hill neighborhood.
Last Thursday, hundreds were taken to students at the Historic Cherry Hill Elementary/Middle School and Tuesday Arundel students were surprised.
"I'll go home and put it in the book stack," said seven-year-old Sinceer Stimbach. He knew exactly what he wanted to add to his collection. He added, "Phineas and Ferb because I watch it on TV and wonder how I'm gonna spend my summer. Small Foot because it has snow and I like snow."
His seven-year-old cousin, Zybrella Duffy, was more excited about Junie B. Jones. "I like the book because it has a lot of characters," said Duffy. She added, "reading helps me understand words."
The principal, Rochelle Machado, liked the phonics books the best. She said, "we are all about phonetic awareness to make sure children are able to identify letters and sounds and help encourage them to read."
The goal for each Arundel student is to leave reading on or above grade level and "these books provide an opportunity for enhanced academics," said Tia Brisbon, the Community School Coordinator for Elev8 Baltimore. She picked out the books to make sure they were age appropriate and what the students would want.
"Some of these books like Junie B. Jones, I read as a child. I'm looking forward to see how these books touch the child and start conversations," said Brisbon. She is hoping these books will bring families closer together by reading together in the evenings.
Whatever books students didn't take home, stayed right in the school's library. There were more than 700 added to the library. Principal Macahado said this "really meant a lot because our library was pretty scarce. It’s only our second year in our new building so we’re trying to build our collection."
The students were excited to have more of a selection at school. Nahmoie Prudent, 8, said "because I love to read." Her twin sister, Nehemi, said she was excited to take the books home. She said, "I feel eager bc I can read them where it’s peaceful and quiet."
To learn more about the "If You Give a Child a Book" campaign or to donate, click here.