Book First provides a free book to first graders attending schools where the majority of students are eligible for free or reduced lunch.
The program was created by Friends of the Sacramento Public Library, which provides support to the library and funding for the new initiative.
"It’s important for us to grab every child at the youngest age and get them to become readers; to have confidence in themselves; to be able to enrich their lives through literacy,” says Jeffrey Rubin, president of Friends of the Sacramento Public Library.
A librarian from a Sacramento branch will visit schools throughout the county to sign up first graders for library cards and help them choose a book to take home. They also encourage them to visit their neighborhood library to check out more books.
“Books in the home is a really important factor for kids becoming proficient readers, really strong readers, and so we want to make sure we have tools at home for them to get ready to read,” says Donna Zick, early literacy specialist with Sacramento Public Library.
Over 9,000 students from 119 schools will receive a book through the program between November and March.