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Teachers across Washington State Comment on Page Ahead Children's Literacy Program

Yields Tangible Results

Page Ahead books are positively impacting our families. Children take great pride in selecting their own book to take home. Parents remark how their children want to read aloud to them or to their siblings. Children comment, "I've always wanted this book!" and "I can read all by myself now!" Many children have said that reading is now their favorite subject. It shows in our ever increasing WASL scores.Vicki McKinlay, Guidance Counselor, DeLong Elementary, Tacoma

Motivates Children to Read

Our primary goal at Nespelem School is to help our students become grade-level readers during their school years and life-long readers after they graduate. Poverty children need books and their parents often cannot afford them or do not see the need for them. It's wonderful to be able to put books into the hands of our children. We need all the motivators we can get to encourage our students to make reading a part of their lives.Judy Sprankle, Title I Coordinator, Nespelem Elementary

Distributes Wonderful Books

Our all-school reading night is a big success. Students choose their book and then go to the reading center and read to their family. They also go to "storyteller" rooms where adults are reading books to them (some storytellers are telling them in Spanish). We also had reading games and activities in the gym. All of the books have been appropriate and wonderful.Jo Kirkpatrick, Reading Coordinator, Basin City Elementary, Mesa

Helps Children Build Personal Libraries

Our children are in such need—these books for many are their only personal libraries. They reread their books several times. They tend to pass the books around among their friends. They are often inquiring about the next book giveaway and have often made decisions on their next book choices. It shows they are thinking and anticipating.Brenda Kephart, Site Supervisor, Chief Kamiakin Elementary, Sunnyside

Inspires Pride in Books and Reading

At Powerful Schools Readers Program, 85% of our kids live below the poverty line. And all of our participants read below their grade level. Our kids are very proud of the books they receive. For some, these are the first books they can call their own. Just watching the kids look through all their choices—touching and exploring what's inside each book before choosing the ‘perfect one'—is such a rewarding experience for those of us who work with these kids.Valerie Wells, Program Manager, Powerful Schools, Seattle

Prompts Family Involvement

Our school has been most successful in involving students' parents through our school-wide activity nights. We try to incorporate academics with fun during those times. The activities planned during book distributions have helped parents to see how they can spend quality time with their child and the importance of reading with them.Kristi Docken, Program Facilitator, Mark Twain Elementary, Pasco

Provides the Only Books in Many Homes

Here at Lummi, 98% of the children participate in the free/reduced-price lunch program and 89% read below their grade level. Over the years, Page Ahead has provided over 10,000 books, by my calculations, to children on the Lummi Indian Reservation. That translates into much-needed home libraries—not only for the kids receiving books, but for younger siblings as well. When one considers that many of these homes would continue to have literally no children's books without Page Ahead's hard work and generosity, the impact is obvious.Chip Wolfe, Children's Librarian, Lummi Library-NW Indian College, Bellingham

Attracts Parents to Reading Activities

At Keene-Riverview we serve almost 500 children from birth through 2nd grade. Forty-five percent of our children are Latino. Our family nights are by far the best reading events. We have had so many attend that we are now doing 3-4 per year. The books are a large part of that growth in the event. At reading night we have learning activities for students with their parents (as a team). Parents come away with packets of ideas and a new book to practice what they have learned.Julie Legard, HOSTS Reading Teacher, Keene Riverview Elementary, Benton

Builds on Reading Successes

This grant allows our students to extend the influence of reading into homes and convince parents, by example, of the joy of reading and reading often. I recall a boy who was in tears when the teacher gave him his own book to read at home (and keep as his own). He said he had "always wanted his own book." This child is still reading at grade level and cites several of the books that he received from this grant as books he continues to reread at home.Debbie Porter, Early Childhood Instructor, Bemiss Elementary, Spokane

Contributes the Essentials of Literacy

The economy in our area rarely allows parents to provide more than the necessities for their children. And unfortunately, books are considered luxury items. Parents were impressed with the quality of the books from Page Ahead and asked if we would be able to continue doing this next year.Mary Willey, Reading Specialist, Oroville Elementary, Oroville