Employees at E.W. Scripps stations around the country celebrated National Reading Day Monday by delivering 40,000 children’s books to local markets, and, in many cases, sticking around long enough to read them aloud to young listeners.
Journalists from KERO, the Scripps-owned ABC affiliate in Bakersfield, Calif., for instance, showed up for story time at Frank West Elementary School—with a real, live Clifford the Big Red Dog. Kids got a book of their own to start building a library of their own.
WRTV Indianapolis worked with School on Wheels, whose volunteers tutor children experiencing homelessness, while, WFTS Tampa, Fla. partnered with the Junior League of Tampa to give books to children at local schools in need.
KNXV Phoenix commitment to helping Arizona’s 19,000 children in foster care by partnering with Arizona’s Children Association to give books to children as they move into foster care. WMAR Baltimore put its efforts into helping the Maryland Book Bank, which sends out a mobile library for children to select up to five books to keep.
The day’s events capped off a months-long literacy campaign orchestrated by Scripps Howard Foundation, which involved staffers raising money to buy books for children in need and working with a local organization to get them to the right people and places. Donations from employees and other donors, along with matching grants from the foundation, raised a total of $143,000.
The company’s “If You Give a Child a Book…” literacy campaign is based on the idea that reading helps children, regardless of economic status, dream big and reach their full potential, the company said.
“We are overwhelmed by the generosity we have witnessed with this campaign,” said Liz Carter, president and CEO of Scripps Howard Foundation. “Now thousands of books will go out from our employees across the country and into the hands of children. This campaign is helping to make the Scripps vision of creating a better informed world accessible to even the most disadvantaged children in our communities.”