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NBC 26 gives away more than 1,600 books to Shawano students

Hillcrest Primary School
NBC 26 gives away more than 1,600 books to Shawano students
Hillcrest Primary School Student chooses new books
Posted at 5:02 PM, Jan 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-19 20:17:59-05

SHAWANO, Wis. (NBC 26) - How well a child reads at the end of third grade can affect the rest of their education. That's why NBC 26 along with the Scripps Howard Foundation has made it our mission to provide local children with high-quality books.

On Tuesday, students at Hillcrest Primary School in Shawano were surprised with a free Scholastic Bookfair. The fair was a culmination of our 3rd annual "If You Give A Child A Book..." campaign. This year's drive raised enough money to provide up to 3 free books for all 523 students.

"They were so excited, so exciting, jumping up and down," says Megan Beauprey, a 1st-grade teacher at Hillcrest Primary.

Literacy experts say one of the best predictors of a child's success is having books in the home.

"Why did you pick these books?" I asked first-grader, Kendrick Fish.

Hillcrest Primary School Student chooses new books
Hillcrest Primary School first-grader chooses his two free books on Tuesday January 18th at the "If You Give A Child A Book..." free Scholastic Bookfair.

"Because they're my favorite," he says. "I like the pictures and the graphics."

According to recent research, more than 61% of low-income families don't have any books in their homes.

"Why do you like having your own books?" I asked Hillcrest Primary School first-grader Nova Williams.

"Because I can read them and I can read them at night when I want and I can share them with my brothers and sisters. And I like to tell my sister about what happened and she is always scared but I make her feel better," Williams says as she holds a copy of the novel, The Girl in the Lake by India Hill Brown.

Hillcrest Primary School
Excited 1st-graders hold up their new, free books. Courtesy of NBC 26's "If You Give A Child A Book..." campaign.

"We have a lot of kids who don't always get to pick books and get books in homes so anything we can do to make that happen is a good thing," says 1st-grade teacher, Megan Beauprey.

You can always tell the kids who spend time reading at home their vocabulary is much bigger their reading scores dramatically go up more than others," she adds.

NBC 26 employees along with the Scripps Howard Foundation, have made it our mission to get high-quality books to children in our community through our If You Give A Child A Book campaign and now more than ever, children need them.

We can really tell the ones who have libraries at home. Their reading scores will go up instead of staying the same instead of going down which is usually the same with the summer slide," says Beauprey.

Each 4k and Kindergarten student at Hillcrest Primary will be able to take home 3 brand new books. Each 1st and 2nd-grade student took home two books.

For the last three years, NBC 26 has campaigned for schools across northeast Wisconsin and the response has been amazing.

We've generated thousands of books in need in our community.

Shawano Primary School book giveaway
More than 1,600 books were donated to Hillcrest Primary School in Shawano on Tuesday, January 18th. Each student was able to take home up to three new, Scholastic books.

Nationally, the If You Give A Child A Book campaign has raised more than $860,000 for kids in need.

Having books at home shouldn't be a luxury. Books are essential for a successful future.

When you give a child a book the possibilities are endless.

And, it's not too late to give.

Click here to donate to the campaign. All the money raised stays right here in Northeast Wisconsin.