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Riley Elementary students receive books from ABC 27's If You Give a Child a Book campaign

Posted at 6:21 PM, Oct 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-29 19:28:15-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Cars lined in front of Riley Elementary School to pick up brand new books for students taking part in Riley's digital learning academy as part of the ABC 27's If You Give a Child Book book fair and distribution.

Students enrolled in in-person learning also received books. All 547 students at Riley received them.

This is the second book fair ABC 27 has partnered with Riley Elementary on; the first was in January.

This year, the book campaign raised over $24,000, enough for each student to get two books and allow for more future book fairs.

"He likes to read about things he wouldn't ordinarily see in his neighborhood, different places," said Shamonique Simon, a Riley Elementary parent. "He gets to imagine he's different things, he's in space, it gets him in another place."

Principal April Knight says getting the books has been motivational for the students, who are now reading more and at a higher level. It's something the school's reading coach can attest to.

"They are building their vocabulary as they are reading; they are looking for context clues," said Gladys Robinson-Calloway, the reading coach at Riley. "So many strategies that they are learning as they are reading these books that they are getting from the book fair."

Every nine weeks, the school holds a principal's reading challenge. During this nine-week period, the students who meet their reading goals are entered into a contest to win a brand new bike.

In addition to the book distribution, the focus on books and reading continued with principal Knight reading "The Legend of Spookily the Square Pumpkin" to kindergartners at Riley to get them into the spirit of reading.