Every kindergartener at Sunrise Elementary went home from school this week with a brand new book of their own to keep.
“You mean I don’t have to bring this back?” asked one youngster in amazement.
“No, it’s yours to keep and to read at home with your mom and dad,” said kindergarten teacher Jodi Gast.
Sunrise Elementary plans to send as many as 18 books home with every kindergartener this year, thanks to a $2000 grant from the Target Corporation that was matched by the Brunk Family.
“Research shows a correlation between the number of books in a child’s home and their success as readers and in school,” said Sunrise teacher librarian Susan Isaac, who wrote the successful grant request. “We want to foster a love of reading and an excitement about books here at Sunrise.”
The school is sending a monthly reading calendar home with every kindergartener and encouraging their parents to read aloud with them at least five nights a week. Students who accomplish that can earn prizes including passes and gift cards donated by local businesses, including Cold Stone Creamery, Dairy Queen, Little Monkey Business, Olive Garden, Skate City, Trails Recreation Center, Utah Pool and Village Inn.
In addition, Post-Net donated printed labels for every book so each child could write his or her name inside their book.
"We have been overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of our business community,” said Isaac. “Every business I've spoken to has jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the program. Who isn't in favor of giving away free books and encouraging families to read together? Businesses have a chance to show their support in the community, and students are rewarded for reading. It's a win-win situation."