NewsLocal News

Actions

DeSantis signs 'New Worlds Reading Initiative' to improve literacy rates

Bill delivers free books to children struggling academically
Posted at 11:00 AM, Jul 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-22 11:53:32-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Governor Ron DeSantis spoke at Indian River State College on Thursday for a ceremonial bill signing of HB 3, the "New Worlds Reading Initiative," which he formally signed in June.

The $270M program is aimed at delivering free books to homes of elementary-school students who read below grade level.

WATCH THE PRESS CONFERENCE BELOW:

The voluntary program would provide free book delivery to the homes of elementary students who read below grade level. Recipients would get one free book every month for nine months of the year, throughout the school year.

Reading assessments in the 2018-19 school year show 43% of third-graders are reading below grade level. Moreover, the Fall 2019 Kindergarten Readiness Screener found that nearly half of the state’s kindergarten-age students aren’t ready to begin classes based on their literacy skills.