The Blog

San Francisco Teachers and Literacy Advocates Give Away 40,000 Free Books for Low-Income Students

It was an act of generosity that speaks volumes about the need for books in public schools. About 40,000 brand new donated books were handed out free to Bay Area teachers who work with low-income students on Saturday in a project mainly coordinated by United Educators of San Francisco (UESF) and First Book San Francisco, a literacy advocacy group that’s part of a national network.

Educators lined up in San Francisco around the block (see photo) to get free books to give to their students so students can start building home libraries and begin appreciating the power and fun of reading. The San Francisco Chronicle covered the extraordinary event that was made possible by numerous sponsors and more than 100 volunteers. It was also supported by the American Federation of Teachers.

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CTA Launches 'California Reads' - Recommended Reading from California Teachers

We all know that reading is the foundation of learning and needs to be highlighted more than just once a year to make a lasting impression. A study from the National Institute for Literacy found that a person who is not at least a modestly-skilled reader by the end of third grade is quite unlikely to graduate from high school. Therefore, the Read Across America committee is piloting a project, working closely with the California School Library Association, to expand our current day of reading celebration to a yearlong promotion of reading for all ages. Rather than just one day and just one book, "California Reads" will offer teacher-approved quarterly book recommendations for four age groups.

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