Blue Zones Project, an organization supporting longer better lives in Fort Worth, is teaming with local schools and Scholastic Book Fairs to make books more accessible to hundreds of area students.
Students at C.C. Moss and the Leadership Academy at Como elementary schools were the first to take part in the pilot program.
Second, third and fourth grades are key years in building reading skills. So kids in those grades got two free books each.
Students in pre-K, kindergarten, first and fifth grades all got one book.
“It was the event of the year at C.C. Moss,” Carrie Hogg, school librarian, said in a news release. “Every student left with big smiles and wonderful books! It has been a very unpredictable and difficult year. Many families are struggling. Blue Zones Project has made my librarian heart very happy!”
“There is no way to even describe the impact and generosity Blue Zones Project and Texas Health have on our students,” said Keyan Brady, instructional specialist at the Leadership Academy at Como Elementary. “The children’s eyes lit up as they scanned the hundreds of books they would get to choose from, and they were so proud to walk out with their very own book. It was the best day ever-their words, not mine.”
In all, more than 700 students now have new books at home to help them keep up their skills during summer.
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Because the pandemic affected learning for virtually all children, Blue Zones Project is putting even more focus on its work with partners in education.
“We know that long-term well-being depends on many factors, but literacy and learning are key to all of them,” said Matt Dufrene, vice president of Blue Zones Project Fort Worth in a statement. “As a strong reader, you can better understand how to improve your health and communicate more easily with doctors and other well-being experts-plus, you are more likely to have a better quality of life overall. We are proud to work with Fort Worth ISD and Scholastic Book Fairs to put more books in the hands of kids.”
Blue Zones Project will continue its efforts with C.C. Moss Elementary and the Leadership Academy at Como Elementary, to see how students are benefiting from the literacy programs. And the book fairs may expand to other schools in the future.