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Mayor Battle's Book Club Celebrates Fifth Year in Promoting Literacy

March 18, 2015
(Huntsville, AL) - Celebrating its fifth year, Mayor Battle's Book Club held a distribution event today for pre-kindergarten through first grade students at Ridgecrest Elementary School. Mayor Battle and his wife, Eula, read "Green Eggs and Ham" to the students in what has become an annual tradition in the Mayor's Book Club.

In the past week, the 2015 book program distributed about 9,400 books to students in Huntsville's ten Title 1 elementary schools. Each pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade and Head Start student received four books, helping them establish a personal library at home and hopefully instilling a love of reading.

"This year, we turned our focus on our youngest school children, knowing that access to books at an early age is critical in a child's development," said Mayor Battle. "Having a book that you can take home and keep helps promote literacy and a lifelong love of learning."

Mayor Battle's Book Club, in collaboration with the Huntsville Public Library and Huntsville City Schools, is made possible through the generous support of the following corporate sponsors: The Boeing Company, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, Cadence Bank, COPT Development & Construction Services, Joe Ritch, and Woody Anderson Ford.

"This program would not be possible without their commitment," said Mayor Battle. "Our sponsors are giving back to our community by playing a key role in ensuring that our students have the basic skills they need to further their education."

National statistics show the ratio of books to children in middle-income neighborhoods is approximately 13 books per child. However, the ratio in low-income neighborhoods is only one book per 300 children. By providing children with books they can own, the Mayor's Book Club targets the only variable that correlates significantly with reading scores: the number of books in the home.

Mayor Battle says putting books into the hands of children is just one part of literacy effort. "As adults, we need to read to our children daily, whether as a parent, grandparent, or reading coach. This small but rewarding gesture helps develop a love of language that will enrich a child's learning experience and ultimately help them be more successful in school."

### For more information, please contact:

Kelly Cooper Schrimsher, Director of Communications, Office of the Mayor, 256-427-5006 (w), kelly.schrimsher@huntsvilleal.gov

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