LEMON GROVE, Calif. (KGTV) - More than 400 students at Lemon Grove Academy Elementary got free books Tuesday, thanks to the generosity of people across San Diego.
Through the "If You Give a Child a Book" campaign, ABC 10News viewers and employees donated money to buy books for kids. The Scripps Howard Foundation matched many of the donations, and Scholastic also pitched in. Together, they raised $13,289, enough to buy 2,657 books.
Because of all that, each kid at the school could pick five free books to add to their library at home.
"By getting to see the smiles on the kids' faces, you'll really see that it makes a huge difference," LGAES Principal Courtney Ochi said. "We're really appreciative."
In addition to the take-home books, Scholastic provided more than $6,600 in "Scholastic Bucks" for the school to buy more copies for classrooms and the library. And the San Diego Council on Literacy provided another 6,000 books to be distributed across the entire Lemon Grove School District.
"We say that reading comes through reading the pictures. Reading comes through making meaning of the stories yourself," Principal Ochi said. "So the kids will really get that opportunity to pick the books that speak to them and become lovers of reading in their own way."
For more about the importance of literacy across San Diego, be sure to tune into the ABC 10News Special "Project Literacy" Tuesday, Jan. 17 at 7:30 pm.