20 elementary schools will give books to students this summer

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Masked up students at Belvedere Elementary School in West Palm Beach Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021, the first day of the school year.
Masked up students at Belvedere Elementary School in West Palm Beach Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021, the first day of the school year.

Palm Beach County’s public schools will continue combating “summer slide” this year with help from a local charity.

The Mary and Robert Pew Education Fund is donating $465,000 to the school district to buy books for students at 20 elementary schools struggling to raise reading performance.

The books are to be sent home with students toward the end of the school year, the district’s deputy superintendent said.

And to pique their interest, students will get to choose a book themselves from among multiple options provided by each school.

“They will all get to select their own books,” Deputy Schools Superintendent Edward Tierney said.

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The hope, Tierney said, is that sending kids home with books of their own choosing will encourage them to read over the summer, helping to combat the so-called “summer slide,” when students regress academically after two months away from the classroom.

The effort is particularly important, educators say, as school works to bring higher numbers of struggling students up to grade level in the wake of what was more than a year of remote schooling for many students.

The initiative is not a new one, but it is being extended thanks to the charity’s donation.

The grant is one of several that the Mary and Robert Pew Education Fund provides to the district each year to support extra educational efforts at schools in some of the district’s poorest regions.

“Pew has been supporting summer reading programs to fight against the summer slide for many years,” Tierney said.

Each school will receive between $15,000 and $30,000 for the purchase of books. The school board is slated to accept the grant Wednesday. [Update: The school board approved the grant.]

The elementary schools receiving money from the grant include: Belle Glade, Berkshire, C.O. Taylor/Kirklane, The Conservatory School at North Palm Beach, Diamond View, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Forest Hill, Glade View, Gove, Grassy Waters, Greenacres, Highland, K.E. Cunningham/Canal Point, Lantana, Meadow Park, Melaleuca, Northmore, Orchard View, South Grade, and West Gate.

amarra@pbpost.com

@AMarranara

This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Palm Beach County elementary schools will give books to students

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