Exploring San DiegoCommunityIf You Give A Child A Book: Story Time


Balboa Elementary School third graders receive free books and reading session

child a book
Posted at 2:18 PM, Nov 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-16 11:59:41-05

Third graders at Balboa Elementary got five free books Wednesday morning through ABC 10News' "If You Give a Child a Book - Storytime" campaign. They also got a special treat as ABC 10News anchor Jared Aarons read to them in class.

These free books can change lives and minds.

"I was having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day," Aarons read to the children.

Hector Bravo, the principal of Balboa Elementary School, says seeing the kids get excited about books and reading is huge for him as an educator.

"In our area right now, we don't have any parks or bike lanes, so this is a form of entertainment that we think is valuable for our students," he says. "It means a lot because we're competing with TikTok and YouTube and Instagram... Having a book in their hands is changing their minds and their behavior for the future."

When Aarons announced to the kids they could pick five books off of the table on display, the classroom was in disbelief.

"And you can take them home to keep forever," Aarons informed the children.

"What?!" they shouted.

One student told ABC 10News they picked a book titled "Bad Guys" because they like comic books.

Another student reflected on their favorite thing about reading.

"My favorite thing about reading is that you learn things. And even though they're fiction books, you learn a lesson by each one of them," the third grader said.

Another student said they love the feeling of getting through another chapter.

Bravo emphasized the importance of reading and how it contributes to learning.

"When they are reading, they can pace themselves. They can dream — they can exercise their dreaming behaviors. And we don't see that often. Through books — we can reach that goal," he says.

This program is funded through the San Diego Council on Literacy, the Scripps Howard Fund and donations from 10News viewers.

If you'd like to give, follow this link.