TULSA, Okla. — Over the past five years, 2 News Oklahoma and the Scripps Howard Foundation have put thousands of books in the hands of local children in need through our "If You Give A Child a Book" campaign.
It’s typically an internal fundraiser for our employees, but this year we are reaching out to you, our viewers so we can make an even bigger impact.
The final day to donate is Sept. 10, and with the effects that COVID is having on our classrooms, the need now is greater than ever.
At Walt Whitman Elementary school, students are grateful for in-person learning where they’re able to read actual storybooks rather than screens.
"With COVID in the last year and the amount of remote learning that we've been doing, our students haven't had access to physical texts," says Vice Principal Annie Gallagher.
"Many of our kiddos spent last year at home learning online and as a result, they only had access to whatever their parents could provide for them, so if mom and dad couldn't get to the library so there wasn't access to new books, then all they had was digital texts online."
With more COVID uncertainty this school year, now more than ever, it’s critical to get books to kids who need them most.
"It's really important for them to have access to these physical books to be able to understand how to turn pages, how to track words on the page and how to just really understand how books work in a physical, traditional way," Gallagher says.
The Scripps Howard Foundation and 2 News Oklahoma have chosen Walt Whitman Elementary, a Title I school in north Tulsa, to receive the next donation in our “If You Give a Child a Book” program. While the school library is full of books that kids can borrow, there’s something special about books that belong to you. That’s why each student receiving books in the campaign is able to select 10 free books they get to keep and take home.
"They can share with their families, with their siblings, they can show off their reading skills that they're learning in the classroom to families at home," Gallagher says.
"And it's just something that they can keep and don't have to worry about taking and sharing with other people."
Studies show that regardless of how many books a family has, each addition to their home library helps children do better in school and in life.
Students like Iceon Wengu say it best; "I like reading so I can grow my brain."
Every $5 you donate will result in a free book for a local student who needs it most. You can text ‘2Cares’ to 345345 to donate, or click here. Fundraising runs through this Friday, Sept. 10.
Since its inception, companywide the campaign has distributed over a half million books, and with your help, that number will keep growing.
Be sure to tune in to 2 News Oklahoma on Thursday to hear more from local students excited to be receiving books.
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