CHAMBERSBURG (Sept. 8, 2019) — Dr. Dion Betts has a goal this month. It’s Literacy Month, so he wants to read to every Chambersburg Area School District kindergarten child, all 750 of them.
The project coincides with National Literacy Month and the CASD Foundation’s campaign to raise enough money to provide every Elementary-aged student with a mini-library of books to keep at home before the end of the current school year.
Betts, CASD’s superintendent, started the reading campaign at Buchanan Elementary School Sept. 3. He brought along Clifford, the big red dog (of Television and Scholastic books fame) and Assistant Superintendent Cathy Dusman dressed as Emily Elizabeth from the book Clifford Goes to Kindergarten.
Betts, Clifford and Dusman entertained 45 kindergarteners and their teachers, Joey Reinenan and Caitlin Ramsey, with the story of Clifford and Emily Elizabeth. At the end of the storytelling adventure, each chid was given a copy of the book, compliments of the Foundation and Scholastic Books.
As Betts and crew continue their tour of the district’s kindergarten classes this month, they give away more Clifford books. Letters to parents are sent home with the books, encouraging the adults to read to their children.
The event is part of the CASD Foundation’s plan to provide books children can take home and keep. Betts said sending books home is important in encouraging literacy.
Yet many of Chambersburg’s youngest learners have few, if any, books in their homes, Foundation Executive Director Angela Lynch said.
Lynch is spearheading the foundation’s “Leaping for Literacy” fundraising drive to raise $100,000 this year for mini-home libraries for the district’s elementary students.
“Leaping for Literacy!”
Summer access to books is critical to academic success, Lynch said.
“Research shows that children can fall behind as much as 2-3 months in reading over that time,” she said.
Furthermore, differences in children’s summer learning experiences during their elementary school years can ultimately impact whether they earn a high school diploma, she said.
Reading just 4-6 books over the summer can prevent a decline in reading achievement scores from spring to fall. To fix the problem, the Foundation wants to provide take-home mini-libraries for every child kindergarten through 5th grader in the district.
It’s a lofty goal, Lynch said, but one she thinks is within reach, with the community’s support.
Betts will do his part for the campaign with a “Leap for Literacy” at Chambersburg’s Skydiving Center next spring.
For more information about the campaign, contact Angela Lynch, Foundation Executive Director, at 717-709-4091 or email@example.com.
All gifts are tax-deductible as eligible by law. To give online, visit: https://secure.qgiv.com/for/casdf.