FORT BEND COUNTY (Covering Katy News) - Each summer ACHIEVE Fort Bend County provides 8,000 free books to students who need additional support with reading skills. Eight hundred students will be given 10 free books. The program seeks to maintain and support growth in reading during the summer school break and keep these students from falling behind.
With the generous support local foundations and many individuals from the community, ACHIEVE provides students who struggle to read, at the level of their peers, the opportunity to read books on their own, in their home environment over the summer months of June, July and August.
Since the program’s inception in 2016, more than 2,000 low-income English and Spanish speaking first grade students in Title I schools have been served by the program.
For the 2019 summer session, a total of 193 Spanish-speaking first graders and 610 English speaking first graders received books.
Studies have shown that these students, without access to print in the early years, can fall further and further behind each year and ultimately are at risk of dropping out before graduating high school.
ACHIEVE Fort Bend County’s goal is to provide access to books in the early years to promote success in school.
In addition to the grant support, the reading program was made possible by a group of volunteers and community leaders who coordinated their expertise and services to bring the program to life.
Once the list of students is provided by the schools, qualified volunteer educators select books that are suitable for their reading level, language and interest. Volunteers sort the books into donated book bags with a personalized name tag made for each child. The books are then delivered by Fort Bend County Constables.
“The joy these students have when receiving their very own book bag is evident as we recognize that by simply providing access to the reading material, the students will want to read the books over and over and share them with others within their household,” said James Patterson, ACHIEVE Fort Bend County Board Chairman.