Free Books Fuelling Maximum Literacy

Education is a process that begins with the birth of a child and has no definite end. Thus, in modern times every parent determines to inculcate reading habits into their children even before they enter kindergarten, this practise develops an aptitude towards reading and attainment of knowledge.

What is this Initiative all about?

Towards the same cause, The First Interstate Bank and The United Way have come together with Billings Public School to donate books to the students of kindergarten. The students of Bitterroot Elementary School were among the first 6000 students to receive free books under this initiative.

Brenda Koch, the Executive Director of Billings Public School K-12 along with the literacy coordinator of United Way, visited Bitterroot Elementary School and recited and distributed, to an eager group of kindergarteners, a copy of the book by Jan Brett called "The Hat".

How many students will benefit from this initiative?

In addition to the 6000 students across 10 SD2 schools who received a free book from the Yellowstone County's United Way and First Interstate Bank, another 500 books were distributed to various social service agencies with the help of funding from Barnes and Noble.

Under the early literacy initiative of United Way's Reading Matters, since 2007, several books are distributed to students in an attempt to promote reading habits in students. This initiative especially benefits those students who are not financially stable or are underprivileged.

What is the Motive behind this Initiative?

This initiative was taken, keeping in mind the fact that reading is a habit that should be developed in every child but unfortunately every child does not have a parent who encourages them to read or do not have access to reading material.

Thus, United Ways programmes urges children as well as their parents to encourage their children to start reading even before kindergarten. Under this programme, the books are distributed to students from Title I schools where most of the children are underprivileged.

When Brenda Koch visited Bitterroot Elementary School, an eager group of students that took great interest in the reading session, which is a part of their routine, welcomed her. The response of the students greatly delighted her.

According to literacy coordinator, Jane Morris including books in our daily lives greatly improves the quality of education and the children who read right since childhood, have an advantage over students who are not as adept to reading.

This Initiative by United Way and First Interstate Bank aims at increasing the quality of education in America by providing better resources right at the root. The kindergarteners are encouraged to read and expand their knowledge about different subjects.

Since it is easier to inculcate good habits in children who are less resilient to new ideas, the introduction of reading into their curriculum will enhance their reading as well as comprehensive abilities.

This initiative, which started in 2007, has already benefitted a large number of students and plans to help many other students under their annual literacy programmes to help underprivileged children improve their life by gaining better education.


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