Communities in Schools gets grant of 10,000 books
By Sarah Nagem
Students at some Rowan County schools won’t have an excuse for not reading a book this summer.
First Book, a nonprofit group that gives reading material to children of low-income families, has awarded the local office of Communities in Schools with a grant of 10,000 books.
Communities in Schools applied for the grant months ago, said Vicky Slusser, executive director of the program.
The local nonprofit organization will distribute the books among Elizabeth Koontz, Hanford Dole, Overton and North Rowan elementary schools and Knox and North Rowan middle schools.
“What we were planning to do was give each kid a book on the last day of school,” Slusser said.
A delay pushed it back, though. Now, Slusser wants to give out books on Aug. 23 during the group’s annual school supplies giveaway.
In the past, Communities in Schools had held the giveaway at St. John’s Lutheran Church in downtown Salisbury, and Slusser hopes to return to St. John’s this year.
Educators agree students need to read during school breaks, Slusser said.
“Kids lose a lot during the summer,” she said.
But some students don’t have books at home, and a sagging economy might make it harder on parents to buy books.
“I think people are going to weigh: ‘Do we need that $2.50 golden book, or do we put a half-gallon of gas in the tank?’ ” Slusser said.
Last year, Communities in Schools provided supplies to 357 students.
If books are left over after the Aug. 23 giveaway, Communities in Schools staff members will distribute them at the schools when classes resume.