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ABC 10News employees help donate 6,000 books to South Bay students

"If You Give a Child a Book" campaign sets record
Posted at 6:39 AM, Jan 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-22 10:18:49-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Three San Diego County schools received free books for their students, thanks to the generosity of ABC 10News employees.

Porter, Montgomery, and Harborside elementary schools split 6,000 books. They plan to distribute them to their kids over the next week.

"This is such an amazing gift to have donated to our schools and our children," says Lisa Forehand, the Principal at Harborside Elementary.

Over the last year, employees at ABC 10News donated money to the "If You Give a Child a Book" campaign through payroll deductions. Combined with a matching gift from the EW Scripps Company and a partnership with Scholastic Book Fairs, the donations were enough to buy 6,000 books.

"We have an incredible group of people who believe in reading," says General Manager Leon Clark. "To have as many people donate every year out of their own pockets, especially in a year that we have just come out of, does my heart good. It really does. And I could not be prouder of the folks we have at ABC 10."

In past years, kids at the selected schools got to pick their books during a large assembly on National Reading Day. This year, because of the Pandemic, the assemblies weren't possible.

The schools will instead distribute the books through drive-up events in the coming weeks.

Still, teachers and staff at the schools say the excitement level is the same.

"It makes us really happy because we've always been promoting literacy," says Porter Elementary Principal Graciela Chavez.

Chavez adds that the pandemic makes it even more important for kids to have books of their own at home. That's because they can't get books from the school library or their classrooms.

"We do have a lot for them to read online," she says. "But it's always nice to have a book in their hand."

EW Scripps company mission statement is "Give light, and the people will find their own way." Clark says these donations are a perfect example of that mission in action.

"Reading is a right, not just a privilege," Clark says. "Books are a gateway to the possible. And if we allow (the kids) the opportunity, it's amazing what can happen."

To learn more about the "If You Give a Child a Book" campaign or ABC 10News' other efforts to promote reading through Project Literacy, click here.