Rosen Publishing has donated 10,000 books to Mayor Anthony Foxx’s mentoring alliance to keep students reading during the summer.
The donation, part of the Rosen Reading Power Book Initiative, is aimed to offset learning loss that occurs over the summer when children are not in school and are not keeping up with their academics.
“It is important for reading to become a pleasure and a habit,” Rosen Publishing President Roger Rosen said. Rosen said 1 out of 300 children in low income areas do not own any books.
Rosen said the organization has a real, ideological commitment to social justice.
Tracy Montross, Foxx’s chief of staff, says the Mayor’s Mentoring Alliance has been working with Rosen since the beginning of May. She said the donation says a lot about the alliance’s commitment to educating students.
Jerri Haigler, the United Way of Central Carolinas’ vice president of education, engagement and communications, which will receive 1,000 of the donated books, said she was overwhelmed by the number of children who don’t own books.
Haigler said students who do not read over the summer are more than two years behind students who do by the time they reach the fifth grade.
Mary Nell McPherson, executive director of Freedom School Partners, said summer learning loss is the biggest reason for the achievement gap between people of lower and higher incomes.
Karen Calder, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters, said children who do not know how to read by the third grade are more likely to drop out of school than students who do.
Carmen Blackmon, executive director of Above & Beyond Students, said the donation was “like hitting a gold mine.”
Blackmon said Above & Beyond Students will use the books to help older children encourage their younger siblings to read books.
Rosen said he hopes the donations will create “a sense of relationship” between the student and the book.
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