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If You Give a Child a Book: Riley Elementary students walk away elated after free book fair

Posted at 6:21 PM, Jan 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-23 18:21:15-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — We all remember our favorite book growing up.

From the most advanced readers at John G. Riley Elementary School to those who want a little laugh or action and those just starting out, every child walked away with two brand new books.

ABC 27 employees and the Scripps Howard foundation raised enough money to host two book fairs at the school.

"I was excited and then I found out I didn't have to pay for it. I was very, very happy."

Then there was the surprise visit that even left a few starstruck.

"Clifford the red big dog was here. He's the best. I love his books and I still watch him on PBS kids."

Studies suggests that kids with no books at home are likely to be three grade level behind. Picking out books here at John G. Riley is putting the kids on the path to a brighter future.

"We can get them reading and make them strong readers. They grow up to finish school, they have jobs to support a family," said Liz Carter. "They're more civilly engaged, they vote."

Liz Carter is the President of the Scripps Howard Foundation. The company partners with Scripps stations like ABC 27 to put books in the homes of Title 1 schools.

Principal April Knight is part of this community and was raised in the same zip code as those students who attend Riley today. She knows what a tremendous impact reading will have on their futures.

"I attended RIley Elementary School kindergarten through fifth grade. Like many of my students here, I grew up in the neighborhood right across the street," said Knight.