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Share benefits of reading

We don’t intend to spoil anyone’s summer vacation before it really gets started, but we join local educators in encouraging young people to read while they’re on break.

Yes, that’s right. We said read.

Young people who open a book occasionally during the summer generally do better in class when fall rolls around, and we believe that’s a goal worth pursuing.

“Research shows kids who don’t read over the summer come back to school two to three months behind kids who do, and that those months accumulate; by the time the child is in sixth grade, they’re generally over a year behind the kids who do read over the summer,” said Michelle Lynn, librarian at Evers Park Elementary School.

But some children may not have access to good reading material, at least the kind of books that teachers encourage them to read.

That’s why Lynn and other Denton school district librarians are collaborating with the Denton Public Library to conduct a book drive for children and young adults.

All books collected will be given to the 600 children who receive free summer lunches through the city of Denton, Lynn said. Each child will also receive a packet of games, science experiments and crafts they can do at home.

The program’s goal is to give each child five books and an age-appropriate activity pack in July.

Book donations can be dropped off at numerous locations, including all three Denton library branches, DATCU in downtown Denton, Jupiter House Coffee, Mr. Chopsticks, Denton Community Market, SCRAP Denton and Recycled Books Records CDs, Lynn said.

Supporters should look for a large yellow box at each collection site, Lynn said, which should make it fairly easy to tell where to drop off your donations.

We hope you will consider helping with the drive because it’s a good way to have a positive impact on the lives of young people who may really need a helping hand.

The kids targeted by the campaign are the ones who don’t have books at home, and whose parents may not even take them to the library, Lynn said. Donating a few books to help out could really mean a lot.

Lynn said she is confident that providing these young people something good to read will help them keep the academic edge they need to compete in class.

She said she hopes to collect 3,000 books for the project, and with your help, we believe that goal can be surpassed. You can drop off children’s and young adult books at any collection site until June 30.

Donate a few books. Sharing the benefits of reading is a great way to celebrate summer.