Mayor Battle’s Book Club Supports Head Start, Pre-K and Kindergarten Students
Published on May 4, 2017
Mayor Battle’s Book Club celebrated its eighth year today by handing out thousands of new books to students in the City’s eleven Title 1 elementary schools. Each Head Start, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten child received four books, thanks to generous donations from 12 area sponsors – The Boeing Company, Corporate Office Properties Trust, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, Woody Anderson Ford, Cadence Bank, Science and Engineering Services, Torch Technologies, Garver, Reed Contracting, Joe Ritch, RCP Companies, and the Heart of Dixie Romance Writers – Huntsville.
Today’s kick-off event was held in the beautiful new library at Sonnie Hereford Elementary School with Principal Mark McCrory and Superintendent Matt Akin. Eager children listened to Mayor Tommy Battle read a lively account of “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss in what has become an annual tradition in the Mayor’s Book Club. Following the reading, sponsors helped hand out books to the children, prompting a number of impromptu fist bumps and high fives.
“From the smiles on these children’s faces today, you can see what Mayor Battle’s Book Club is all about,” said Battle. “We know it is important to get books in the hands of children at an early age, but it is equally important to instill a love of reading. This is where parents, grandparents, friends and mentors come in. Make time to read with and read to a child. It establishes a foundation critical for future learning.”
Partnering with the book club is the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library (HMCPL) who believes the book distribution comes at a perfect time for the children – the beginning of summer break.
“The library offers free summer programs for children, teens and adults, helping to break the ‘summer slide’ by creating, fun opportunities to boost literacy skills and retain reading levels,” said Mandy Pinyan, Youth Services Coordinator and Manager of Outreach Services for the HMCPL. “By partnering with Mayor Battle and his wonderful book club, we hope to encourage young readers to return to their local library to explore new worlds with the best tool they can own: a library card. Thank you for supporting Mayor Battle’s Book Club and your local library.”
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.