Thousands of Books Collected for Kids' Summer Reading

Students not reading proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to drop out of school

The San Diego library department and councilmember Lorie Zapf began distributing thousands of books collected since May 1st for the “Read to Succeed” summer initiative.

“So many kids backslide on reading,” Zapf said at Ocean Beach Elementary School. “There’s a lot of distractions going on. They’re really enthusiastic about reading but a lot of these kids are low income. They don’t have books at home and we want to make sure we get some books in the hands of kids so that they can keep up some reading over the summer.”

About 70 percent of inmates and about 85 percent of kids in the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate Zapf explained.

“I think early childhood literacy is one of the most important things that we can accomplish,” she said.

“I love reading, too,” Zapf told the third graders at Ocean Beach Elementary Thursday. “I wanted to make sure you guys had some new books to take home over the summer.”

The books will be distributed to local schools and libraries.

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