MISSOULA — They say "If You Give a Child a Book," you give them the keys to the world. This week, that's exactly what happened at two Missoula schools.
KPAX and the Scripps Howard Foundation, in partnership with Scholastic, provided hundreds of books to students at Franklin and Lowell elementary schools courtesy of the "If You Give A Child A Book" childhood literacy campaign. But that’s not all as both school libraries also added 150 books to their catalog.
The books were the result of generous donations from the community to The E.W. Scripps Company.
This week’s distribution could not have come at a better time for Lowell Elementary, where students have limited access to the library due to COVID-19 protocols.
For 5th grade teacher, Daneijha Griffith, the impact was immediate.
“I have kiddos who do not have access to books outside of school, literally nose stuck in the book as they were walking out of the classroom,” she said. “I had to remind them to pay attention to not fall down the stairs, just to get out the door. I mean, they were ecstatic.”
The campaign also left a lasting impression with Lowell Library’s Christina Russell who shared this thought.
“Not only will our students have books of their own to keep, but the Lowell Library will also have brand new titles for students and staff to check out! The enthusiasm and excitement centered around literacy is incredible to witness,” she wrote.
Friday was distribution day at Franklin Elementary. It not only took 5th grader Peter Lofing by surprise, but may have affected his math studies.
“We just came into the classroom and my teacher was just like, 'Each one of you gets three of these books,’” he said. “And they were just like, everywhere, and I was so excited and I'm not sure if I did very well in math today because I was just reading the books I got."
In total, the community, KPAX, the Scripps Howard Foundation, and employees of The E.W. Scripps Company put 1,563 books into Missoula kids’ hands this week.
But nationwide over the past four years, more than 352,000 books have been donated to children facing poverty in their community.
You can join this mission to empower children with the literacy tools they need to be successful by clicking here and donating to the "If You Give a Child a Book" campaign.
To learn more about the Scripps Howard Foundation, please visit their website.