Thanks to a donation from International Paper, every first grader at Jim Allen, Beulah, Bratt, Ensley, Kingsfield, Lincoln Park, Lipscomb, Longleaf, McArthur, Molino Park, and Pine Meadow elementary schools will take home three books of their own for the summer.

The children will also celebrate reading by participating in a variety of engaging and inspiring reading activities in each school. Students from Lipscomb Elementary School participated in a Big Book Breakfast on Monday. During the event, first grade teacher Betsy Eggart read “If You Give a Dog a Donut,” by Laura Numeroff. The book was one of the three books the children took home to keep. International Paper also supplied the students with doughnuts and apple juice to correlate with the dog’s adventures in “If you Give a Dog a Donut.” To complete the breakfast theme, they also took home “If You Give A Moose A Muffin,” and “If You Give A Pig A Pancake.” All three books are fun and are a great way to learn about sequence and cause and effect.

By providing children with choice and access to books and literacy resources, International Paper hopes to create a culture of literacy in the communities in which its employees live and work.

This book distribution event is part of Reading Is Fundamental’s Books for Ownership flagship reading program which enables children to select new, age-appropriate books to take home and own.

“We can’t express our gratitude enough for programs such as RIF, and local business partners, like International Paper. When they become involved in reading they help us achieve one of our main goals – encouraging children to read outside of school,” explained Kim Gunn with the English and Language Arts Department of Escambia County School District who attended the Big Book Breakfast. “When we see children get excited to explore a new book that they get to own, well, their reactions were priceless.”

“Reading Is Fundamental is committed to creating a culture of literacy in communities nationwide and ensure every child has the fundamental building blocks needed to achieve their highest potential. Reading is the necessary foundation for all children that puts them on the pathway for success,” says Reading is Fundamental President and CEO, Alicia Levi. “For over 50 years, Reading Is Fundamental has supported communities with the resources they need to impact children in their communities and we are excited to partner with International Paper to bring this program to Escambia County.

“We’re proud to team up with Reading Is Fundamental to support the children of Escambia County,” said Whitney Fike, communications manager, International Paper. “At International Paper, we believe that the future of our communities depends on children, and supporting strategic programs in our community that help children succeed in education is critical.”

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