OMRO, Wis. (NBC 26) — Reading comprehension can shape a child's life. That's why our "If You Give A Child A Book..."campaign is so important. We're helping to put new books into the hands of children who need them most, at no cost. This year those books are going to the students at Omro Elementary School.
I got the chance to meet the students in Mrs. Wirth's 4th-grade class to ask a few students what they love about reading.
"I like that you learn, but it's also fun because you get to read and reading is fun to me. But the thing is, you have fun while you're learning," says 4th grader, Danielle Sweet.
"I like to read a lot of graphic novels and Harry Potter books or Greek Gods, and this book right now I love it I just love the Wings of Fire series," says 4th grader, Jaxson Ecksten.
NBC 26 and the Scripps Howard Fund are working hard to put new, age-appropriate books into the hands of students at Omro Elementary and HB Patch Elementary School in Omro, where 40% of the students are considered under-privileged according to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
"We get these readers and they won't want to read, and they don't like to read and they have it stuck in their heads that reading is not fun or it's a punishment," says Laura Wirth, 4th-grade teacher at Omro Elementary School.
"If you can find a series that a student enjoys then, they want to read all of them. So, that continues the reading. It's not just one story," she adds.
Most educators agree, that giving kids the books they want to read makes all the difference. Just ask 4th grader, Luke Marchese who says he didn't always love to read.
"Not always but I do now since I started reading Percy Jackson," he says.
I didn't really like the series Hardy Boys, so I didn't really like reading because that's what I was reading. But, I'm reading a different series and I like it now," Marchese adds. "Now I want to read a lot so now in class when I finish everything I just grab a book and start reading."
That's why giving these kids the right books at the right age will not hook them into reading but help give them the right tools to succeed.
"Interest is the book and then learning just follows so if we can get them interested and hooked on it now they're more likely to succeed and become lifelong learners," says Laura Wirth.
This year's if you give a child a book campaign is aiming to improve child literacy in Northeast Wisconsin. All it takes is just %4 to buy 1 book for a child who needs it most. Click here for a secure way to donate. 100% of your money goes to the students at Omro Elementary Schools.