This week, I attended a My Very Own Library event at the Roberto Clemente School in Newark, NJ. Roberto Clemente School is one of the 31 schools participating in the program from Newark, NJ this school year. I had the pleasure of seeing just how excited the students were knowing that they’d be choosing three books from their Scholastic Book Fair and adding those books to their own home libraries – all for free.
According to the Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report™: 6th Edition, 86% of children ages 6–17 agreed that it is “very important for my future to be a good reader,” however, kids from lower-income families have access to about half the number of books in their homes as their higher-income peers. MVOL is unique because the program doesn’t simply hand out books; rather it allows more than 38,000 students from schools in six states and the Dominican Republic to choose and own 10 new children’s books for free from their schools’ book fair.
As part of the My Very Own Library program, schools host visits from award-winning children’s book authors. Students at Roberto Clemente received special guest visits from authors and illustrators including: author/illustrator Stephen Savage (Supertruck, Where’s Walrus?), authors C.J. Leigh (The Ninjabread Man) and Orli Zuravicky (Happily Ever Afterlife), and illustrators Ross Burach (Billy Bloo Is Stuck in Goo) and Gale Galligan (The Baby-sitters Club #5). Each author shared the reason why they write and/or draw, and what inspired them to create books for children.
In addition to Newark, the My Very Own Library program also serves children in Chicago, IL; Kansas City, MO; Milwaukee, WI; Newark, NJ; Richmond, CA; Delaware and the Dominican Republic. Here’s a glimpse of a few of the events in these locations: No energy shortage at North Georgetown’s ‘My Very Own Library’ kick-off; Program aims to instill love of literature in students.