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National Reading Day

Childhood Literacy Campaign Donates 172,000 Books for National Reading Day

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In four years, Scripps Howard Foundation has granted five $10,000 grants annually, totaling $200,000

Minutes spent reading books at an early age is an important predictor of a child’s success – from their school years through adulthood, as they seek out and interpret information that helps them navigate the world around them. With the hope that every child must-read books, employees of The E.W. Scripps Company across the United States put more than 172,000 books into the hands of children in need on 23rd January 2020 for National Reading Day. The donations were part of the Scripps Howard Foundation’s annual “If You Give a Child a Book …” childhood literacy campaign – a partnership of the Scripps Howard Foundation, employees of The E.W. Scripps Company and members of the Scripps family.

The campaign “If You Give a Child a Book …” celebrated its fourth year through distributing as a whole more than 352,000 books to children. The Scripps Howard Foundation has granted five $10,000 grants annually on National Reading Day, totaling $200,000.

Book donations for children in need

The campaign receives donations from Scripps employees and matching dollars from members of the Scripps family. In addition to some markets, community members also donated to the cause. The foundation uses every dollar to purchase books for children in need. Books are purchased at a discount through a partnership with Scholastic Book Fairs, which led to maximizing the purchasing power of every donated dollar.

Scripps’ Local and National Media brands are proud to be partnered with low-income schools and local nonprofit groups that work directly with children and families to present the books on National Reading Day and throughout this year as part of the “If You Give a Child a Book …” campaign.

Scripps has celebrated National Reading Day with programs and events across the country. Some events include:

  • Scripps’ WTXL in Tallahassee, Florida, donated books to John G. Riley Elementary through a book fair in partnership with Scholastic.
  • In Waco, Texas, KXXV donated books to three schools across three different school districts in central Texas – West Avenue Elementary, Peebles Elementary and Neal Elementary.
  • WCPO and Scripps’ corporate office, Cincinnati, donated books to Lincoln Heights Elementary School and Oyler School in Ohio, and Lincoln Elementary and John G. Carlisle Elementary in Northern Kentucky.
  • Other Scripps stations have partnered with local organizations that support childhood literacy to give away the books. WXYZ in Detroit has presented five book fairs at 17 Head Start programs throughout metro Detroit this year. WMAR in Baltimore has partnered with a local community foundation to give books to 15 libraries across the city.
  • Scripps’ national news network Newsy has donated over 4,000 books to the Chicago Public Library Foundation.

Studies show that every book generates approximately 180 reading minutes. That means children in poverty will spend nearly 31 million minutes reading books from this year’s campaign donations. We’re humbled by the incredible commitment of Scripps employees and the communities they serve,” said Liz Carter, president and CEO of the Scripps Howard Foundation.



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